About Kidney Transplant and the Stages and Risks of Complications

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About Kidney Transplant and the Stages and Risks of Complications
About Kidney Transplant and the Stages and Risks of Complications

Kidney transplant or kidney transplant is done to treat kidney failure, which is a condition where the kidneys are no longer able to function properly. In this procedure, doctors perform surgery to replace the damaged kidney with a he althy kidney from a donor

Kidneys are vital organs of the body that function to filter waste substances from the blood, then excrete them through urine. When kidney function is impaired, the filtering process will be disrupted so that waste substances accumulate in the body. If left unchecked, this condition is potentially life-threatening.

About Kidney Transplant and the Stages and Risks of Complications - Alodokter

Waste substances in patients with damaged kidneys can actually be removed by dialysis. However, if the kidney condition is severe, a kidney transplant is the best treatment for kidney failure.

How to Get a Kidney Donor

There are two sources to get kidney donors, namely through donors who are still alive or those who have recently died.

Living donors

Kidneys can be donated through a living donor. The donor can be from family, friends, or anyone who wants to give their kidney and is ready to live with only one kidney in their body.

Dead donor

Kidneys can also be donated by someone who has died. In fact, in most cases of kidney transplantation, the kidney is obtained from a deceased donor.

Nevertheless, the kidneys should come from someone who has died of brain function or also known as brain death.

Things to Pay Attention to Before Undergoing a Kidney Transplant

After getting a kidney from a donor, you will undergo a series of tests to make sure the kidney matches your blood type and body tissues. This is important to do to prevent possible reactions from the body's rejection of the kidney.

Meanwhile, if there is no suitable kidney donor, you are advised to keep your body he althy. Here are some things you can do:

  • Consuming medicines and foods that have been recommended by the doctor
  • Quit smoking, if you are an active smoker
  • Restricting consumption of alcoholic beverages
  • Exercise regularly
  • Conducting regular he alth checks

However, please note that a kidney transplant cannot be performed if you have the following conditions:

  • Old age
  • Abusing alcohol or drugs
  • Taking drugs or undergoing certain treatments
  • Suffering from cancer, heart disease, or mental disorders

Kidney Transplant Procedure

After getting a suitable kidney, you can immediately undergo kidney transplant surgery. Usually, this operation lasts for 3-5 hours. You will be given an anesthetic during the transplant procedure.

The following are the stages of the kidney transplant procedure:

  • The doctor makes an incision in the lower abdomen.
  • The doctor will remove the damaged kidney and replace it with a new kidney from a donor.
  • Blood vessels from the new kidney to the veins in the lower abdomen are connected.
  • The ureters or tubes that connect the kidneys to the bladder are connected to the bladder.
  • The doctor will close the incision with stitches.

Usually, the new kidney can carry out its function immediately after the blood flows to the organ. However, in some cases, the kidneys take longer to produce urine.

While waiting for the new kidney to work optimally, you can do dialysis. You will also need to take immunosuppressant medications for the rest of your life to prevent your body from rejecting the new kidney.

Risks and Complications of Kidney Transplant

Every medical procedure has a risk of complications, so does a kidney transplant. There are several risks of short-term and long-term complications that can occur, including:

Risk of short-term complications

The following are some of the short-term complications of the kidney transplant procedure:

  • Infection
  • Narrowing of the renal blood vessels
  • Blood clot
  • Clogging of the ureter
  • urine leak
  • Body rejects new kidney
  • Heart attack, stroke or even death

Risk of long-term complications

In addition to short-term complications, kidney transplantation can also cause long-term complications. These complications are generally caused by immunosuppressant drugs that need to be taken regularly. Here are some of the complications:

  • Acne
  • Diarrhea
  • stomach ache
  • Weight gain
  • Swollen gums
  • Osteoporosis
  • Diabetes
  • Hypertension
  • Hair loss or excessive hair growth
  • The risk of cancer increases, especially skin cancer

Kidney transplantation can also cause complications of graft versus host disease, which is a condition when immune cells in the donor kidney attack the patient's body cells. These complications can occur within a few weeks after surgery, but can also appear years later.

Guide to Living with One Kidney

After a kidney transplant, you are required to lead a he althy lifestyle. Here are some things you can do:

1. Regularly check with the doctor

During the first weeks after surgery, you should visit the doctor 2-3 times a week. After that, the control schedule can be reduced to once every 2-3 months if you do not have serious he alth problems after the transplant.

2. Checking skin he alth

The risk of developing cancer, especially skin cancer, increases after a kidney transplant. Therefore, it is highly recommended to check the condition of the skin and other body parts regularly to detect signs of skin cancer or other types of cancer.

3. Changing diet

Most people can still eat various types of food after undergoing a kidney transplant. However, while taking high doses of immunosuppressant drugs, you are advised to avoid the following foods:

  • Foods containing raw eggs, such as mayonnaise
  • Undercooked meat or seafood
  • Unpasteurized dairy products

4. Stop smoking

If you are undergoing a kidney transplant, it is highly recommended not to smoke. Smoking can reduce the resistance of your new kidney. In addition, smoking can also increase the risk of cancer.

5. Exercise regularly

After your physical condition is declared recovered, you are advised to exercise regularly for 2.5 hours every week. Sports you can do are brisk walking, swimming, cycling, and playing tennis.

The kidney transplant procedure in the hospital is an attempt to prolong the life of patients with kidney failure. The average new kidney lasts for about 10-12 years.

Kidney resistance depends on how well the kidneys fit into your body, the source of the kidneys, and your age and overall he alth condition.

Don't hesitate to consult a doctor if you experience any complaints after undergoing a kidney transplant. That way, the doctor can check and provide the right treatment according to the complaints you are experiencing.

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