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January 30, 2012

How is a Kidney Transplant Is Done.

The procedure of kidney transplant lasts for about 3 hours.

Kidney transplant is a surgical procedure conducted for replacing a malfunctioning kidney of the patient with a healthy kidney from the donor. Kidney transplant refers to the surgery performed for the replacement of a failed or diseased kidney with a healthy working kidney from another person. The person who receives the kidney is called a recipient, whereas the person who donates the kidney is called a donor. Kidney transplant is also referred to as renal transplant. It is carried out for the patients suffering from end-stage kidney diseases or renal failure. There are two types of renal failure, namely, acute and chronic.

The acute type causes sudden kidney failure in response to the treatment of other underlying conditions. In majority of the cases, it can be reversed back by managing the cause. In case of chronic type, failure of kidney takes place gradually because of a chronic health condition like hypertension. Chronic kidney failure is treated by dialysis (artificial filtering of blood) or kidney transplantation. Both conditions of renal failure may also result from other kidney diseases.

How is a Kidney Transplant Done
Based on the source of donated kidney, kidney transplant can be classified as deceased-donor or living-donor transplant. In the former case, the donated kidney is from a person who died recently, whereas in the latter case, the donated kidney is obtained from a living person. Living-donor type is further categorized into living related donor (donor is genetically related to the recipient) and living unrelated donor transplantation (donor is not genetically related to the recipient). In all the cases, the donor should be healthy and free of any kidney diseases.

For performing any type of kidney transplant, it is necessary to match the donor's and recipient's blood and other tissue conditions. Considering this, the living related donor matches better than the deceased and living unrelated donor types. In case of a deceased donor type, the healthy kidney collected from the deceased person is preserved in a saline solution for about 48 hours, which is maintained in cold storage conditions. During this time, the concerned physician conducts certain laboratory tests to check the compatibility of the donor and the recipient.

Kidney Transplant Procedure: Living Kidney Donor
For harvesting the kidney from a living donor, the donor is given anesthesia prior to the surgery. The surgeon makes a small cut on the side of the abdomen. The kidney is removed through the cut, which is then stitch after completion of the procedure. The harvested kidney is preserved in cold storage conditions. The donor can live a normal life after removal of the kidney, as the remaining kidney performs the normal bodily functions.

Kidney Transplant Procedure: Kidney Recipient
Prior to the surgery for kidney transplant, the recipient is given general anesthesia. A cut is made in the lower belly portion, from where the donated kidney is introduced inside the body of the recipient. Usually, the failed kidney of the recipient is not removed, as it increases the risk of morbidity. In such a condition, the surgeon connects the renal artery of the donated kidney to the external iliac artery and renal vein to the external iliac vein. In case of infections in the existing kidney of the recipient, the surgeon may consider removal of the failed kidney.

Kidney Transplant: Aftercare
The procedure of kidney transplant lasts for about 3 hours. In living related donor type, the introduced kidney starts functioning immediately, whereas in living unrelated type, it takes about 3-5 days for the normal functioning. For deceased donor transplant, recovery time may be as long as 15 days.

Kidney transplant is not a total cure for renal failure. Though the condition of the recipient improves in maximum cases of transplantation, there are still other unpredictable complications. An individual who has undergone kidney transplant should be administered certain prescribed medications in order to combat any bodily reactions (immune responses). Besides this, he/she has to be monitored throughout the life for any complication of kidney transplant.
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