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A short note on kidney transplant

Dr. Ankur
Sept. 14, 2010

Organ transplantation as we all understand is the replacement of an unhealthy lesser functioning organ with a healthy and more capable one, simply planting a full fledged working organ from a donor to the patient site. This field of medicine has gifted mankind with varied ways to save many lives in a better and more functional way. Heart, kidney, liver, cornea are few organs to name in the category. Out of all the most common to be adopted worldwide is the renal (kidney) transplant. The kidney transplant is common and more frequently applied based on the fact of survival on one kidney. For other organs often the replacement needs to wait for the donor’s demise unlike kidneys.

The human anatomy offers two bean shaped structures located on the lateral aspect of the abdominal regions capable enough to undertake normal functions independently. This fact as precisely studied by experts reveal the accomplished survival of the donor even after the removal of one of the kidneys, though limitations are reported but normal lifestyle is possible. The transplantation is often recommended to patients at the end stages of a renal disorder where normal functioning is almost impossible to undertake by the pair. Successful renal transplant offers the potential for absolute rehabilitation even in advanced stages of renal failure.          

Kidney donor

  • Most often the donor is a living relative. But with increasing acceptance of brain death even an increasing number of cadaveric transplants are being performed these days.  Though better results have been shown with live donors as compared to the dead ones.
  • The donor should be healthy with the same blood group as the patient. Also he / she should be free from ailments like hypertension, diabetes or any cancerous diseases of the kidneys as an unhealthy organ would make the process absolutely worthless to perform.
  • Earlier times the donor was given a cut to remove the organ but with rising technology and advancements laparoscopic surgeries are adopted these days facilitating lesser pain and complications with better quick recovery

Patient / recipient

  • The foremost step lies to analyze the patient’s status. Whether he / she is in a condition to sustain transplant and also is the process justified enough. At old age about 80 years the process would be a sheer waste as the life span left is less and a transplant is worthless.
  • Here before the process every effort is made to normalize the metabolic rate with dialysis and medications.
  • Also immunosuppressant’s are to be administered to counter act any sort of rejection by the body.
  • Despite all measures often a recipient at the beginning, or at the time of transplantation undergo acute rejection episodes in form of hypertension, decreased renal function, weight gain, pain , fever, discolored urine. Though with apt application of medicines and processes these fade off in a while
  • In successful cases often the transplants begin to function immediately and in a span of 5 to 7 days may completely take over.
  • Continuous assistance is required and the patient should remain in touch with the surgeon to avoid any issues what so ever.
  • Some unfortunate cases may suffer rejection leaving in dilemma to opt for another transplant or again revert to the never ending process of dialysis and artificial means.


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