5 Things To Know About Receiving A Kidney Transplant

A kidney transplant replaces a diseased kidney with a healthy kidney that comes from a donor. The new kidney can either come from a living donor or a deceased donor. Sometimes, it is even a close friend or family whose kidney is a match for the patient. In most cases, the patient will only get one kidney. 

Receiving A Kidney Transplant 

While everyone has heard of a kidney transplant, the lesser-known details are often overlooked. Each of these can give insight into the procedure itself, especially for those who experience it. At Durham Nephrology, one of our services is kidney transplants, so we will provide you with the information you need about them.  

It Is Often For Those Who Have End-Stage Renal Disease

According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, the most common cause of needing a kidney transplant is end-stage renal disease. This is often associated with being a permanent condition of kidney failure. When the kidneys start to fail, dialysis is often used to do their job as the patient waits to receive the transplant. 

Along with this possibility, congenital defects affect the kidneys that may also require a kidney transplant to treat. It is often at the discretion of your doctor to determine when a kidney transplant is the best option. 

There Are Risks To Acknowledge

Like any invasive procedure, there are numerous risks associated with a kidney transplant. Those risks include infection, bleeding, and even an increase in the chance of cancer. 

One of the significant risks associated with kidney transplants is that the body can reject the new kidney. The immune system feels as though the new kidney is a threat to the health of the body, causing it to attack. Patients take anti-rejection medications that can also cause side effects to prevent this. There are multiple medication options, so your prescription may decide what side effects occur. 

There Is Often A Lot Of Preparation

Any major procedure requires preparation, but organ transfer requires even more. When receiving an organ from a deceased organ donor, a medical professional must put the patient on a waiting list with the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS). This timeline is dependent on a kidney becoming available, along with the state of your situation evaluated by a transplant team. From here, your procedure occurs when the kidney comes available. 

On the other hand, if a family member or friend provides the kidney, the procedure can be done on a planned occasion.

According to the Mayo Clinic, whether a deceased or living donor, this match must be distinguished by blood typing, tissue typing, and crossmatching. 

This time before the procedure is also used to stay healthy overall. Staying active and fit can make it more likely that your body is ready when it is time for the procedure. 

The Procedure Requires A Hospital Stay

In all cases, a kidney transplant requires a stay at the hospital. However, the specific procedure varies from patient to patient. Due to the nature of the procedure and the need to monitor blood pressure, pulse, and breathing after, patients often spend multiple days in the hospital. This is also time used to see how the transplanted kidney performs in the body after being placed. 

There Are Post-Procedure Conditions To Consider At Home 

Once you can return home, your healthcare provider will inform you of specific ways to take care of your body, including the incision. This includes keeping the spot clean and dry, specifically being careful when bathing. Along the way, the doctor will advise you not to drive until your doctor tells you differently. It is also essential to pay attention to how you feel once home. If you begin to notice a fever, swelling, redness, or even increased pain, it is time to contact your doctor and find out what to do next. 

Receiving a kidney transplant is an intensive process. Having some information about it beforehand can help guide you through this journey. Are you looking for the ideal place to discuss the need for a kidney transplant? Durham Nephrology can be the answer you’ve been looking for. Check out our website or give us a call at (919) 477-3005 for more information. 


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