A kidney transplant is a major surgery where surgeons remove a disease or dysfunctional kidney and replace it with a healthy donor kidney. In many cases, the doctors may leave the dysfunctional kidney in the body as long as it cannot cause any harm to the surrounding tissue or lead to any complications. Some people need to have one kidney replaced, and others require both.
There are certain indicators that allow doctors to determine if a person needs a kidney transplant. In many cases, these are health conditions or based on the performance of the kidney. Although there are a lot of health problems that cause kidney issues, doctors will only recommend surgery if a person is not responding to other treatments or if they feel other treatments are not an option. Some common indicators include:
Just because a person needs a kidney transplant does not mean that they are a candidate for one. Some people are not healthy enough to receive a transplant. Others suffer from certain health conditions or illnesses that make transplants for risky or less likely to be successful. Doctors take many things into consideration when trying to determine if a person is a candidate for a kidney transplant. Those things include:
Kidney surgery is a major surgery and doctors often prescribe many different types of medication to help the patient recover and to help them get through the surgery safely. Some patients may require more or different medications than others, depending on other illnesses and health conditions as well as other medications they take regularly. Some of the most common types of medications given to kidney transplant patients include:
As with most surgeries, there are risks and complications associated with a kidney transplant. The biggest worry is that the patient’s body rejects the transplant. Anti-rejection medications can help, but they have their own risks and complications. Some patients may experience mild complications and others may be severe. If a patient experiences anything out of the ordinary, they should seek medical attention immediately. Some common complications and risks associated with a kidney transplant include:
The prognosis for most patients is good. As long as the donor’s kidney is not rejected and the patient follows the doctor’s care routine, they can recover from surgery successfully and live a full life. The 20-year survival rate for kidney transplant recipients in the United States is 77 percent. Some patients do have to return to dialysis even after receiving a transplant, and many will have to take medication for the rest of their lives.