The kidneys are noble organs that filter the blood every second of every day. They produce hormones, regulate blood volume and electrolytes, and maintain homeostasis.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 1.2 million people have died from kidney failure in 2015.
There are two types of kidney failure:
- Acute kidney injury (AKI)
- Chronic kidney disease (CKD)/End-stage renal disease (ESRD)
Usually, AKI is temporary and quickly resolves after a short period; however, some cases may develop CKD. The most common cause of CKD worldwide is chronic blood hypertension.
A kidney transplant is a surgical procedure that involves the graft of a new kidney for a patient with ESRD.
Kidney-donor transplantation is further classified into:
- Genetically related transplantation (kidney donor is a family member)
- Genetically non-related transplantation
Table Of Contents
Indication of kidney transplant
There are several indications of a kidney transplant. These include:
End-stage renal disease
ESRD is the final stage of many chronic kidney diseases. It is caused by diabetes, blood hypertension, glomerulonephritis, etc.
When ESRD occurs, most of the kidney’s function is lost, which can present with a wide range of physical symptoms,
- blood hypertension
- hyperkalemia (accumulation of potassium in the blood)
- edema (fluid retention)
- hypocalcemia (reduced blood calcium levels)
- metabolic acidosis (acidic blood PH)
- decreased libido
As you can see, ESRD affects most organ systems and can be a devastating condition to deal with.
In this category, cancer could be located in the kidney or somewhere else. For instance,
renal carcinoma is a malignant tumor that affects the kidney and may require a surgical graft.
Other cancers that could damage the kidney to an irreversible stage include prostate cancer in men and uterine cancer in women.
The pathophysiology that leads to ESRD in these cases is somewhat complex and beyond the scope of this article.
If you want to learn more about malignancies that cause ESRD, check out this article.
This is one of the most common causes of chronic kidney disease. Blood hypertension could cause renal failure in two fashions.
It can cause an acute renal failure by malignant hypertension that damages the renal tissue, or it could develop over years of untreated blood hypertension that damages the vasculature inside the kidneys.
Regardless of the mechanism, blood hypertension is notoriously known for damaging the kidneys, and preventive measures should be taken before it is too late.
One of the late complications of diabetes mellitus is diabetic nephropathy, which is characterized by damaged nephrons.
Persistent high levels of blood glucose can make it difficult for the kidneys to do their job. As a result, the kidneys start to leak albumin (proteins) into the urine.
If this process persists for years, the renal damage can become irreversible, and a kidney transplant is indicated.
Polycystic kidney disease (PKD)
PKD is a genetic disorder that affects the renal tubules, rendering them structurally abnormal. The inflated tubules will turn into small cysts full of fluid that cover the surface of one or both kidneys.
Unfortunately, there is no curative treatment for PKD, and all we can do is delay the progression of the disease to prevent ESRD.
Similar to liver transplantation, renal graft has its own contraindications. These include cardiopulmonary insufficiency,
advanced liver disease, and AIDS. In addition, Tabaco and morbid obesity are considered relative contraindications.
Most of these conditions increase the risk of fatality during the surgery and the risk of complications post-surgery.
Nevertheless, it is up to your surgeon to determine whether you are eligible for a kidney transplant or not.
Once you are approved as a candidate, you will be added to a waiting list to receive a kidney.
The surgical procedure of kidney transplant
Before the surgery is performed, the kidney donor must be ABO (blood type) compatible with the recipient.
They should also share as many genetic similarities as possible.
For this reason, it is preferred that both the donor and recipient are blood-related. If the patient has a twin brother or sister, that would be the best choice.
Additionally, immunosuppressive drugs are started to tamper down the immune system’s reaction towards the newly grafted kidney.
Previously, when a patient undergoes a kidney transplant, the surgeon removes the damaged kidney and replaces it with the donor’s kidney.
However, this has changed with the latest guidelines.
Current guidelines recommend leaving the non-functional kidney in its position and placing the new kidney in a different location inside the pelvic area.
This is the result of the high morbidity that was associated with removing the damaged kidney.
The surgeon will then create a new blood supply for the grafted kidney, and the ureter is connected to the recipient’s bladder.
The prognosis (outcome)
Kidney transplantation is a life-extending surgery. Patients may live up to 15 years longer than if kept on dialysis.
They will also have fewer dietary restrictions, feel more energized, and experience fewer complications.
Patients reported improved lifestyles and even feeling like they used to before becoming sick. In fact,
some athletes came back to high-performing competitions after undergoing a kidney transplant.
Examples include New Zealand rugby union player Jonah Lomu, German-Croatian Soccer Player Ivan Klasnić, and NBA basketballers Sean Elliott and Alonzo Mourning.
Kidney transplant cost
Like any other cosmetic procedure,
kidney transplant cost differs depending on:
- The individual needs and the used method.
- Geographic hospital location.
- The surgeon’s experience.
The essential point is that you choose the best Organ transplant surgeon at an affordable price. However, do not be attracted to only the low-cost offers without paying attention to the quality of the provided services.
Istanbul has become the destination for many people from all over the world for performing cosmetic procedures.
The reasons behind that are the competitive prices, the experienced surgeons in this field, and the distinctive medical services.
In Turkey, liver transplant surgery costs approximately $25000 to $35000.
You can save more and get stunning results by experienced hands at HayatMed for medical services in Istanbul.
Kidney transplantation is saving tens of thousands of lives every year. It is a miraculous surgical procedure that relieves the suffering of thousands of people.
After undergoing surgery, patients will no longer need regular dialysis, and dietary restrictions will be minimal.
If you have any questions about kidney transplantation, please share your thoughts in the comment section below. We would be thrilled to read them.