Every year, over 130,000 solids organ transplants are carried out globally and of those transplants, more than 60,000 are kidney transplants. Approximately 40% of kidney transplants performed each year are from living donors.
International Medical Treatment Ltd (IMT) receives a lot of enquiries from people who want to travel overseas for kidney transplants and this article is to let you know more about kidney transplants overseas including the requirements.
To start with, IMT does not help people in selling their kidneys. We only facilitate the process of travelling for overseas for medical treatment. Transplants can be more sensitive to deal with than other medical conditions especially because of the different rules and regulations in various countries regarding organ transplant procedures.
We partner with some of the best hospitals overseas and as such, they follow strict rules when it comes to organ transplants. Through this article you will get a better understanding of how to go about seeking a kidney transplant overseas and how IMT can be of assistance.
What to know
1. Finding a donor
This is usually the first step after a doctor recommends a kidney transplant for a patient. It could be easy for some, if a family member or friend is willing to donate their kidney. However, for others, the entire process can be very frustrating. Finding a donor is a requirement for international patients as the hospitals overseas do not provide organ donors for non-citizens.
Most medical treatment destinations require that the donor must be a family member, as follows:
- 1st degree relatives: Mother, father, his/her children
- 2nd degree relatives: Brother/sister, grandparents, grandchildren
- 3rd degree relatives: Uncle (paternal-maternal), aunt (paternal-maternal), niece, nephew
- 4th degree relatives: Children of the 3rd degree relatives
- Wife/husband’s relatives are also graded using the above criteria
Other important requirements for a kidney donor:
- Must be between the ages of 18 and 65 years.
- Must have a healthy body weight; a body mass index (BMI) of less than 35.
2. Necessary tests:
The first very important test is one to determine whether the recipient and the donor are compatible. This can be done by checking the blood type compatibility, after which the donor’s medical history is reviewed and other tests like antibody screening, crossmatching and tissue type testing, among other tests, are done to ensure the donor is in good health.
Here is an illustration to help you understand blood type compatibility.
These tests are repeated at the hospital overseas to confirm the results from the local hospital.
Additional information on kidney transplant overseas
- It can take approximately 2 weeks for the donor to be allowed to go back home after the kidney removal surgery, while the recipient might need approximately 4 weeks before getting an okay from the treating doctor to go back home. This, however, depends on the donor’s recovery while for the recipient, it depends on how he or she responds to the treatment.
- In most cases, there is an 85 to 95% success rate for those who undergo kidney transplant, depending on the patient’s condition at the time of treatment.
- The recipient will need to travel with another person (caregiver) – either a family member or friend – to take care of them during the treatment.
- India is a more affordable destination for kidney transplants as compared to other medical treatment destination such as Thailand and the UAE. For instance, the cost of a kidney transplant at Apollo Hospital Mumbai, India, is around USD16,000 while the cost of the same procedure at Bumrungrad International Hospital, Thailand, can be quite higher. The choice of the hospital depends on an individual’s budget, not forgetting the other factor; whether the hospital requires the donor to be a family member or allows for a non-relative donor.
We hope that this article makes it much clearer for people who are considering travelling overseas for kidney transplant.
You can contact IMT today, to find out more about this and other transplant surgeries offered at our leading partner hospitals. Apart from helping you to find a high-quality hospital, we can also help you plan for your entire treatment overseas.