At Apollo Dialysis, we provide quality of life to patients suffering from end-stage kidney disease through kidney transplantation. On average, Apollo hospital conducts 15-20 transplants in a month. The kidney transplant is a surgical procedure in which a patient whose kidneys have failed receives one or two kidneys from a live or deceased donor. Patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) or end-stage kidney disease (ESKD) are usually suitable candidates for dialysis, and ultimately a transplant. Patients must be healthy enough to undergo major surgery and should be willing to maintain a strict medication plan for the rest of their life.
Since the human body can function with one healthy kidney, a family member whose blood and tissues match the patient may donate one kidney to the patient. In other cases, cadaver donors or deceased donors’ kidneys are used in transplants, if either they or their family members chose to donate the organs. In this case, the body is more likely to reject the kidney.
During the evaluation process, the doctor conducts blood tests to determine if your blood type matches your donor’s. Another test is to match the human leukocyte antigen (HLA), which is an antigen group on the surface of the white blood cells in control of the immune response of the body. If the patient’s HLA type matches the donor’s, the body is more likely to accept the kidney. Once a donor is identified, another test determines whether or not the patient’s antibodies will attack the donated organ, and is done by mixing a small amount of the patient and the donor’s blood. In order for a transplant to proceed successfully, the antibody reaction should show a ‘negative crossmatch’.
The procedure is conducted under general anaesthesia, which is administered intravenously. The doctor will make an abdominal incision and insert a donor’s kidney, after which the arteries and veins from the kidney are connected to the patient’s arteries and veins. This enables blood to flow through the new kidney. The ureter of the kidney is attached to the patient’s bladder so the patient can urinate normally. Unless the original kidneys are causing blood pressure issues or infections, they are left inside the body.
Potential risks include leakage or blockage of the ureter, rejection of the donated kidney, failure of donated kidney, and in rare cases, strokes or heart attacks. Immunosuppressant drugs which are a must after the surgery can also cause side effects like bone thinning, high risks of skin cancers and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. These should be discussed with the doctor in detail.