A kidney transplant is one of two treatment types available for kidney failure. Many patients feel that this treatment method offers greater freedom and a better quality of life than ongoing dialysis treatment.
Research shows that a successful kidney transplant may allow patients to live the same kind of life before they developed kidney disease and that those who undergo this procedure live longer than those who remain on dialysis.
About the Procedure
For this procedure, a donor kidney is placed into the lower abdomen where it is easiest to connect to the bladder and important blood vessels. Unless it is medically necessary to remove them, your own kidney typically is not taken out.
The procedure is performed in a hospital and usually takes about four hours. A kidney from a living donor starts working quickly, but one from a deceased donor may take two to four weeks or more to start functioning. In those cases, dialysis may be necessary until the kidneys begin to work. Patients are usually discharged from the hospital and able to return home about a week post-surgery.
Risks Associated with a Kidney Transplant
Despite its benefits, kidney transplant does have the associated risks that come with any major surgery. Patients will also need to take anti-rejection medications for as long as the new kidney is working, which may have side effects. A kidney transplant will also increase a patients risk for infection and developing certain types of cancer.
Who is a Candidate?
Any healthy patient including children and seniors are potential candidates for a kidney transplant. In some cases, a patient may be eligible for a preemptive (before starting dialysis) transplant or an early transplant (after kidneys fail and some dialysis is received).
To learn more about the kidney transplant procedure and to determine if you are a candidate, call (919) 477-3005 to schedule an appointment with Durham Nephrology today.