December 22, 2018
Kidney Transplant

Kidney is the organ that filters waste products from the blood leading to the formation of urine, contributing a daily output of toxic wastes from the body of around 1.5L. Various disease affect or damage the kidney in one way or the other. Kidney diseases can be acute or chronic, both without timely intervention will lead to failure of kidneys. Diabetes, hypertension, inherent structural defects in kidneys, toxins are some of the leading causes.

Survival after kidney failure is currently through haemodialysis and transplantation. Haemodialysis is a procedure to filter the blood of waste products externally through a dialyser machine. Patient needs to stay in the hospital for more than 5 hours for the procedure for more than 3 times a week that poses severe restrictions on daily life activities and increased financial expenditures. Transplantation is the other option which is virtually a cure.

Who can Donate?

According to Transplant of Human Organs Act (THOA) 2014, kidneys can be transplanted from,

a. Cadaveric Donors – Harvesting a healthy kidney from a brain-dead patient.

b. Live donors who are near relatives – spouse, parent, children, grandparents, siblings. Extended family member like uncle, aunty and inlaws family member can also donate.

What is the Procedure?

Donors are initially assessed for cross matching with the patient. Various clinical tests are performed to ensure maximum compatibility between the donor and the recipient. After thorough evaluation, the procedure is planned. Recipient is given higher Immunosuppressive(ATG) to prevent the rejection related complications after transplant. Kidney is harvested from the donor through laparoscopic or open surgery. Harvested kidney is transplanted into the recipient. The surgical techniques and advances in technology now enable the patient to experience a completely smooth recovery and a discharge of the patient in less than 7 days post operative hospital stay. Recipient is then put on immunosuppression drugs to prevent rejection and a regular follow-up to ascertain the functioning status of the newly transplanted kidney.

What is the Success Rate?

Kidney is the most widely transplanted organ in the world being the preferred treatment of choice for advanced kidney failure. The first ever successful kidney transplant was carried out in the year 1954, between two identical twins. Even after 6 decades, the challenges faced are yet so formidable. There has been significant progress in understanding the process of organ transplantation. Medical research has answered many questions in the field of pathology, immunology, pharmacology and surgical techniques. This has enabled kidney transplantation a sustaining modality in mainstream medicine. India performs more than 5500 registered organ transplants every year and currently kidney transplant sees a 3-year survival rate of more than 93%.

Life after Kidney Transplantation?

Kidney failure restricts life in various ways. Amount of liquid intake per day is drastically cut down, dietary changes are profound and unimaginable to the palate. Performance in daily tasks and job is affected and most might have to quit the job to cater to the dialysis needs. Transplantation offers a potential cure to all these problems. With a new kidney one can return to a life as they’ve always been living. Survival on a transplanted kidney has proven to be far better, longer, and healthier.

Dr. Amit K Devra
Department of Urology & Kidney Transplant
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