A successful kidney is a more effective treatment for kidney failure than either peritoneal dialysis or haemodialysis at any renal transplant hospital. However, not everyone is suitable for transplantation. Also, to undergo transplant surgery , it is necessary to have an appropriate donor kidney, which is suitable for you .This can be difficult sometimes, depending on the renal transplant hospital you are consulting.
Kidney Transplantation – The Benefits
A kidney transplant can deliver the best quality of life to people with end- stage renal failure (ESRF). The most obvious advantage of transplant to people with kidney failure is freedom from dialysis. If a transplant works well, dialysis becomes a thing of the past. There will be no particular fluid or dietary restrictions after a transplant. Most people who have a transplant feel better and have more energy than they did on dialysis. They are more able to cope with a job and many find their lives improve, so it’s imperative to choose a renal transplant hospital that caters to your needs.
Where is a kidney transplant placed?
The normal position for transplant is low down in the abdomen, well away from the position of normal kidneys. The transplant sits under the skin, and can be felt under the skin if you press hard, just above the pelvic brim – the pelvic brim is the bone you can feel just above the pocket on a pair of trousers. It is not necessary, therefore, to remove someone’s own, failed kidneys in order to do a transplant.
There are few exceptions like when these kidneys are often infected, and they need to be removed at a renal transplant hospital before the transplant as they might cause problems after. Also, some people with polycystic kidneys have such large kidneys that there is no room in the side to put a transplant, so that one of the polycystic kidneys must be removed.
Who can have transplant?
Patients with end stage kidney failure are suitable for a transplant, provided you are considered to be suitable after assessment by your doctor at a renal transplant hospital and also after a suitable donor kidney can be found
People who will probably not be considered suitable include those with serious heart disease, people with severe diabetic complications or who have recently had cancer. There is no age limit for kidney transplantation. However most doctors at a renal transplant hospital would think very seriously before transplanting someone over 65 years old. The reason being older people often do not tolerate the transplant operation very well. Also, the drugs that are needed after a transplant are often too strong for older people.
Testing for viruses
Before anyone can be put forward for a transplant at a renal transplant hospital, they will have to be tested for various viruses. These include HIV (the virus that causes AIDS), hepatitis B, hepatitis C and cytomegalovirus (known as CMV). It is important to test for these viruses because . After the transplant, they may cause illness. If the hepatitis (liver infection) virus tests are positive, it may be possible to have transplant, but further tests will be needed on the liver to make sure a transplant would be safe.
Other tests for transplant suitability
These include an electrocardiogram (ECG, an electric recording of the heart beat), and an echocardiogram (ECHO, a sound-wave picture of the heart) and a chest X-ray. Kidney patients who are diabetic also have a treadmill test (measurement of the ECG while walking fast) or a cardiac Angiogram (a special X-ray picture of the heart) from a well established renal transplant hospital.
Life after Transplant
Once the operation is done and the kidney is functioning well ,you will attend the renal transplant hospital frequently for the first three months.
It is usual to take three months off work after a transplant, you should discuss with your doctor .You should avoid any work which involves a lot of exposure to people with infections, or heavy lifting that might put direct pressure on the transplanted kidney.
Sport and fitness Exercise is recommended for people with transplants Please discuss first with your doctors exactly what you want to do.
Diet Diet can be relaxed after a transplant, but not usually straight away! Keep checking blood results, as it is common to have high potassium levels for a few weeks after a transplant. Weight gain occurs in most transplant patients, as it is common to be underweight on dialysis. However, it is important to watch what you eat as you may have increased risk of weight gain after transplant.
Fluid Restriction Fluid restrictions are usually not needed after a transplant. Make sure you know how much your fluid intake should be sometimes the transplanted kidney makes too much urine, so drinking large amounts of fluid is needed.
How long does a transplant last?
A kidney transplant does not last for ever.
• An 90%chance (eight or nine out of ten) of operation
• A 60%chance (six out of ten) of lasting five years
• A 50%chance (five out of ten) of lasting ten years or more,
Is it possible to have another transplant if the first one fails?
• Most people can have a second, or even third, transplant
• The wait for a second transplant is usually longer than for a first transplant
• The success of a second transplant is, on average, as good as for a first transplant It is usually possible to have a second kidney if the first one fails. However, there are more ‘hurdles’ to get past before this is possible
• Why did the first kidney fail, and will failure happen the second time around?
• Most causes of transplant failure will not repeat themselves in a second transplant. However, there are a few conditions which make doctors worry about early failure of a second transplant. Some types of kidney disease, which caused the original kidney failure, can come back in a transplant