Most patients with kidney failure require renal replacement therapy or a kidney transplant which is the most successful treatment option for a damaged kidney. Health conditions such as uncontrolled hypertension may cause end-stage renal disease. You may not experience any signs and symptoms if you have a damaged kidney. However, medical evaluation at Houston Kidney Specialists Center by Devaraj Munikrishnappa, M.D. may help determine whether you are ready for a kidney transplant.
What is a kidney transplant?
A kidney transplant is a surgical procedure used to replace a failed kidney with a healthy kidney. Usually, your body consists of two kidneys that filter and eliminate waste materials and minerals from your blood. However, various diseases such as diabetes may interfere with the kidney’s filtering ability, resulting in the accumulation of waste and harmful fluids in your body. This may increase your blood pressure and cause kidney failure. Other conditions that may cause end-stage renal disease include:
- Common causes of Chronic glomerulonephritis
- Chronic high blood pressure
- Polycystic kidney disease
During the evaluation, your specialist will ensure:
- You do not have underlying medical conditions that could interfere with the procedure.
- You are healthy enough to undergo surgery.
- Your body can tolerate medications prescribed after the transplant.
Kidney donors may include family members, friends, and co-workers. Your doctor will find a match to establish which kidney is suitable for you using various tests that include:
- Blood type. The blood type of your donor needs to match with yours to prevent blood-type incompatible transplants.
- Tissue or human leukocyte antigen type. Your doctor will use this test to ensure that the donor’s kidney will last for a long time.
- Crossmatch. During this final matching test, your doctor will mix your blood sample with that of the donor to determine whether your antibodies will react against antigens in the donor’s blood. If the cross-match is negative, that means there is compatibility.
Procedure for kidney transplant
Before the process, your doctor will administer general anesthesia to make you unconscious during surgery and use special devices to check your blood pressure, oxygen level, and heart rate throughout the procedure.
Your surgeon will make an incision below your abdomen and place the healthy kidney by attaching it to blood vessels and connecting the ureter to your bladder. It is normal to experience pain around the incision area after the procedure.
You may spend several days in the hospital for close monitoring during recovery. Your new kidney may start functioning immediately or may take several days, and your doctor may recommend temporary dialysis.
You will require immunosuppressants that prevent your immune system from attacking the new kidney. These drugs may cause side effects such as osteoporosis, high cholesterol, diabetes, hair loss or excessive hair growth, edema, and acne.
You will have routine check-ups with your doctor during the first few weeks to examine the condition of your new kidney.
Dietary recommendations after kidney transplant
- Include enough fiber in your diet.
- Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables.
- Drink a lot of water to stay hydrated.
Schedule an appointment with your doctor at Houston Kidney Specialists Center for a kidney transplant to improve your well-being.