Kidney Transplant FAQs

What do patients need to know about kidney transplant? As a result of what diseases is transplantation necessary and where is it best done? 

We will answer these and many other questions in the article to clarify this issue and prepare you for everything necessary for the operation.

Kidney Transplant FAQs

Over the past few years, the number of patients with acute and chronic renal failure has increased. This is due to the development of such diseases as: arterial hypertension, chronic pyelonephritis or chronic glomerulonephritis, renal amyloidosis, congenital pathologies and malignant tumors.

When a patient faces renal failure as a result of a disease, two options arise:
  1. "Artificial kidney" - hemodialysis

  2. Kidney transplantation

Let's take a look at each of these options.

hemodialysis Kidney transplantation

Hemodialysis is carried out with an "artificial kidney" apparatus, in which extrarenal blood is purified from toxic metabolic products. This procedure is carried out to patients 3-4 times a week for several hours, which limits a person from a normal lifestyle. Hemodialysis - does not cure the patient, and does not restore kidney function, but simply temporarily solves the problem, but only until the next procedure. Thus, the patient cannot fully do his own thing, travel or change his place of residence, since he is tied by a hopeless circumstance.

But there is also a second option - a kidney transplant. According to statistical studies, the number of people who need a kidney transplant is increasing every year. About 0.02 - 0.1% of the population in different countries around the world need surgery.

At the moment, one of the leading countries in organ transplantation operations is Turkey. Medical centers in this country have been helping patients with renal failure for more than a decade and have achieved high results, as evidenced by statistics - 99% of successful operations and more than 15,000 patients per year.

Let's take a closer look at the medical aspects and what every patient needs to know when faced with a difficult question.

As you know, the main reason - kidney failure - is the development of chronic renal failure. This is an irreversible impairment of kidney function due to the death of kidney tissue. The progressive death of nephrons leads to the full development of uremia - self-poisoning of the body. As a result, a person cannot survive without a kidney transplant.

Kidney transplantat

Types of transplant

Depending on the donor, who must have genetic and immunological similarities (for group antigens of blood and antigenic histocompatibility HLA (lymphocytotoxic test)), the following types of transplantation are distinguished with the recipient:

  • syngeneic - a relative is the organ donor;

  • allogeneic - a stranger acts as a donor;

  • cadaveric - kidney transplant of a person with a diagnosed “dead brain”;

  • cross - occurs according to the principle of “kidney exchange”.

A kidney transplant from a living person has several advantages over organ transplantation from a deceased donor. An organ from a living donor engrafts better, and the life expectancy is slightly longer (about 17 years after organ transplant from a living donor, and close to 10 from the deceased).

In cross-transplantation, the recipient's donors agree to a kidney transplant to another recipient in exchange for an organ transplant from his donor. There can be many such donor-recipient pairs, until each patient can receive an organ from a donor that is not genetically suitable for him.

Kidney transplantation procedure

Preparing for the procedure

When there is a need for an organ transplant, the recipient needs to undergo a set of examinations that are necessary to become on the waiting list.

Contraindications for transplantation:

  • Mental illness;

  • HIV infection;

  • Active tuberculosis;

  • Malignant processes;

  • Severe cardiovascular disease;

  • Chronic lung disease with respiratory failure;

  • Taking drugs, alcoholism.

Obligatory studies of the recipient:

  1. General detailed analysis of blood and urine.

  2. Determination of the blood group and rhesus.

  3. Biochemical analysis.

  4. Antibodies to rubella virus and cytomegalovirus.

  5. X-ray examination of the chest cavity organs.

  6. Ultrasound examination of the abdominal organs.

  7. Fibrogastroscopy.

  8. Echocardiography of the heart and cardiogram.

  9. Determination of the functioning of the liver, kidneys and thyroid gland.

In addition, before the operation, the patient must:

  • Undergo an examination by an otolaryngologist, cardiologist and dentist;

  • For women, the conclusion of a gynecologist is required;

  • Take tests for possible sexually transmitted diseases, and, if any, undergo treatment;

  • Undergo an HLA histocompatibility typing study.

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