Kidney Transplant: Procedure, Success Rate & Cost

Dr. Virendra is a senior consultant urologist, andrologist, and transplant surgeon at Chandigarh healthcare, sector 16, Mohali and Apollo hospital sector 8C, Chandigarh.  In this video, he will talk about kidney transplant. 

As we all know that we have two functioning kidneys in our body. The kidneys are 24×7 at work. It is one of the most vital organs in the body. It helps maintain an acid-base balance, blood pressure, electrolyte balance, and hemoglobin and excretes waste.  

There Are many reasons like kidney stones, hereditary disorders, diabetes that lead to kidney failure. This kidney failure can lead to a disturbance in the proper functioning of the body. So the body does not show any symptoms in the earlier stages. Still, in the later stages, the patient experiences swelling in the feet, nausea, weakness, anemia, loss of appetite, and other things. The patient may also experience water accumulation in the lungs and stomach, and the creatinine level increases in the body. 

So early detection without regular checkups is not possible. And till the time the patient realizes the symptoms and goes for a check-up, his creatinine level is already 4 or 5. 

What are the options after kidney failure? 

There are two options that the patient has after kidney failure. 

Dialysis and Kidney transplant.

Dialysis is not a cure but a solution to make up for the lack of the kidney’s work in your body. To replace the functioning of the lost kidney with artificial means, people often go for dialysis.

There are two types of dialysis. one is done by blood, called hemodialysis. And the other one is peritoneal dialysis. In this, the inside lining of your belly acts as a natural filter. The inner lining of the belly is filterable, so if you fill it with water, it will absorb the thing wanted by the body and pass out the things not needed by the body. Peritoneal dialysis can also be performed at home with the help of a machine or manually. 

The advantage of peritoneal dialysis is that it can be easily performed at home. Nutrition should be maintained. There are fewer restrictions on food items to be consumed compared to hemodialysis. The BP is never low. There is help needed at home to get peritoneal dialysis done, and there is a risk of getting infections. 

So these were the pro and cons of both types of dialysis. But again, dialysis is not the cure but only for maintenance. A kidney transplant is still a better, permanent option that also elongates life and improves the quality of life. 

What is a kidney transplant? 

In a kidney transplant, we take a healthy kidney and replace the damaged kidney in his body. We connect the nerves, blood vessels, and the urinary tract to it, and then it is ready to start functioning. Once the new kidney starts working, it stabilizes the creatinine level in the body, and the patient’s health begins to recover gradually. The patient is on lifelong medication to protect the new kidney, and the body does not attack it again. 

So the benefits of a kidney transplant would be, improved lifestyle, longer life expectancy. When it comes to cost, three years of dialysis is equal to a lifetime benefit of a kidney transplant. So a kidney transplant is also pocket-friendly. There are two types of kidney transplants performed in India, life-related and cadaveric transplants. We haven’t progressed enough to not need a cadaveric transplant yet. But awareness about cadaveric transplants is on the go in India, and with the progress, we see now, people are willing to donate organs. This way, the need for a donor would reduce. 

In India, at present, the transplants that we have are life-related. This means that the family member often donates the kidney. 

Who can donate? 

Any mentally sound individual who is above the age of 18 can donate a kidney for the transplant. The first-degree relatives are allowed by the law: mother, father, sister, fathers, brothers, grandparents, and spouse are most eligible for the donation. But if any of these cannot donate for any reason, we opt for second-degree relatives for the donation. The family member who is donating a kidney goes through several checkups. This transplant has no significant effect on the life of the donor. He leads a healthy life just like he did before donation. After 15 days of the operation, the patient can get back to his regular life routine. The donor is put through more tests than the receiver. This is because our ethics don’t allow us to drive a perfectly healthy person sick. So to eradicate any errors, these tests are done. 

The doner should be physically and mentally healthy, should be above 18 or above. He can still donate the kidney if the stone is smaller than 1.5cm. People with blood pressure who take medicines for it can also donate after the tests are done. Anyhow people with diabetes are not eligible to donate. So for a better quality of life for the longevity of life, come forward and donate a kidney to your relatives so that they can lead a better and healthier lifestyle. 

Best is the prevention of inner failure. For this, avoid smoking, eat healthily, control your sugar intake, follow a balanced diet, drink sufficient water, and overall maintain a healthy lifestyle. But if still, your kidney stops functioning correctly, then a kidney transplant is the best option. 

Thank you. 

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