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Details

A kidney transplant is a transplant from a healthy kidney from another individual (the donor) to the body of someone with end-stage kidney disease (the recipient). Kidney transplant is one of the most common and most reliable organ transplantation procedures. While dialysis is a more accessible alternative to chronic renal failure, transplantation is the only treatment that allows patients to return to normal life.

Kidney transplantation allows you to find an almost normal life, without a strict diet or limitation of activity. Women can have a successful pregnancy, which is practically impossible with dialysis.

After a check-up to verify the indications and contraindications to the transplant, the candidate is registered on the waiting list of his or her transplant center


Who Is This For?

Individuals who have end-stage chronic renal failure and do not have any condition or disease that would make the kidney transplant impossible.

Treatment Duration

3 hours

Potential Risks & Side Effects

  • Blood clots
  • Bleeding
  •  Infection
  • High blood pressure
  • Failure or rejection of the transplanted kidney

Recovery Time

3-4 weeks

Success Rate: 90%

Alternative Treatments

Dialysis

How Does it Work?

The kidney can be stored for 48 hours, at a temperature of 4 ° C, after collection. Patients registered on waiting lists must therefore be able to be reached at any time and be ready to respond to a transplant proposal. Today, in practice, the process between the potential identification of a donor and implantation in the recipient lasts approximately 24 hours.

In order to limit the risk of rejection, it is tried to be transplanted kidneys as compatible as possible. The donor must therefore be from the same blood group and, if possible, identical in the HLA system (in the case of real twins) or semi-identical. The results of transplants with living donors are better, because the surgery is scheduled in advance (recipient and donor are operated at the same time, by two different teams, in two neighboring operating rooms), there is a better compatibility, therefore less risk of rejection, and, above all, the kidney is of better quality because it is grafted immediately after removal. Once the procedure has been carried out, the donor can resume his professional activities after 3 to 4 weeks off work.


What Does a Kidney Transplant Surgery Involve?

1.       Consultation for Kidney Transplant

As in every process, you will take an online consultation to make sure that you’re a suitable candidate for kidney transplant surgery. During this consultation, your complaints and story will be learned in detail and you will be asked if you have had any current health condition or any surgery that you have experienced before, as well as all of your tests and imaging results. Thus, we can better evaluate your case and prepare a customized treatment plan for you.

In light of all the information you provide, it will be decided whether you are eligible for this treatment and if you want to continue the process, the second phase will begin.

2.       Planning Your Trip and Choosing the Clinic

This is the stage where you choose one of the clinics and doctors we offer you according to your needs, and also where we arrange the date and trip plan that suits you upon your preferred clinic/doctor.

3.       Final Consultation with Your Surgeon

When you arrive at the clinic, you will have a face-to-face consultation with your kidney transplant surgeon. Everything about your surgery will be discussed between you and your surgeon during this consultation. The surgeon will ask you some questions to try to understand your expectations and goals better and also make you understand what you should expect from your treatment and the potential risks or complications of the procedure. Certain medical conditions will determine whether a candidate can receive a transplant. Various laboratory analyses will be performed to ensure the compatibility of the donor and the recipient. You will also decide together the individualized surgical and recovery plan that can be followed, especially during the first 24 to 48 hours after the surgery. The surgeon will explain the whole process clearly and try to simulate it as much as possible, in order you to feel comfortable and well-prepared 

4.       Medical Examinations

Before the surgery begins, your surgeon will conduct physical and blood tests to make sure that you are in acceptable health status for the surgery. Before the transplant, a lymphocyte compatibility test is carried out in the laboratory, to verify that the patient does not have antibodies developed during a first transplant, a transfusion or a pregnancy. These antibodies would be able to react against the graft and cause acute rejection.

5.       Surgery

The surgery usually lasts about three hours. The surgeon makes an incision in the lower part of one side of your abdomen to transplant the new kidney into your body. Sick kidneys are left in place unless there is a risk of infection or high blood pressure.

The new kidney is introduced into the lower abdomen and connected to the bladder. The vessels are then sutured. The blood can then be filtered again by the kidney, which performs its purifying function. Sometimes it takes a few weeks for the kidney to start working again and dialysis must be continued during this time.

Some people have priority, especially people in emergency situations, those for whom it is more difficult to find a compatible kidney (because they have developed antibodies or are of a rare group) and children.


What Should I Expect from Kidney Transplant?

A hospitalization of at least a week (sometimes more) is necessary after the intervention. The very demanding diet (without salt and potassium) necessary in the case of hemodialysis can be abandoned, but a healthy diet is essential, in particular avoiding very salty foods. After the first moments, the transplant recipient feels much better after the transplant.

Post-Transplant Follow-Up

  • After transplantation, children and adolescents return to normal growth. Transplant recipients can also resume normal academic, professional and social activities.
  • Immunosuppressive therapy, with two or three drugs, is essential to avoid rejection of the transplanted kidney. This risk is greatest during the first six months or the first year (10 to 30% of acute rejection, most of which can be controlled). Thereafter, the immunosuppressive treatment can generally be reduced, depending on the results, but it will have to be taken throughout life.
  • This treatment reduces the body's defenses against infections and can promote the development of certain tumors. Also, kidney transplantation is not offered to people who have had cancer recently, to avoid accelerating a relapse, in case of cancer cells persist. Also, the treatment is not always well supported by the kidney and increases cardiovascular risks.
  • People with transplants must, therefore, have a healthy lifestyle with healthy food and regular physical activity. Some patients may likely be able to stop immunosuppressive therapy without rejecting their transplant. Studies are being carried out to try to identify biological criteria which would make it possible to determine the individuals who can do without immunosuppressive therapy for life.
  • Regular check-ups to check that the transplanted kidney is working well, to detect signs of rejection and to check for possible side effects of the drugs are necessary throughout life. People who have a transplant should quickly tell their doctor about anything that might suggest an infection or rejection, such as fever, pain at the site of the transplanted kidney or urinary problems.


FAQ

Why Do Kidney Transplant Patients Receive Immunosuppressive Therapy?

You should take immunosuppressant (anti-rejection) medications not only for the kidney but after any organ transplant procedure. Because these drugs help prevent your immune system from rejecting (attacking) the donor organ. Usually, this therapy is taken for a lifetime to avoid complications and to ensure that the transplanted kidney works well for a long time.

What If The Transplanted Kidney Stops Working?

When the transplanted kidney stops working, dialysis becomes essential again, but the patient can again be a candidate for a transplant. The transplanted kidney is not necessarily removed. The average lifespan of graft is a dozen years, which requires several transplants in a lifetime.

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