What You Need to Know About Kidney Transplant
In 2015 alone, 126,670 organ transplants were performed worldwide and out of those, 84,347 were kidney transplants. The need for kidney transplants continues to rise and so does the need for overseas medical treatment.
Being a leading overseas medical treatment facilitator in Africa, International Medical Treatment Ltd (IMT) receives a lot of enquiries from people who are seeking to undertake a kidney transplant; either for themselves or their loved ones. However, it has come to our realisation that most people are not aware of how kidney transplant works especially when it comes to finding a donor.
Our partner hospitals in India, UAE and Thailand have strict policies on kidney transplantation, and that is why we have put together this article to help people know what they need to consider if they need to undertake a kidney transplant from any of our partner hospitals in these 3 destinations.
What is a Kidney Transplant?
A Kidney transplant is the transfer of a healthy kidney from a donor to a recipient. A donor being the person from whom a kidney is taken and the recipient being the person who receives the kidney. This procedure is done for people who have:
- Severe chronic kidney disease (renal failure) and cannot get other treatment options
- Suffered severe injury to both kidneys and they need to be removed
- Kidney Cancer that is widespread and the kidney needs to be removed to stop the cancer from spreading
Getting a donor
The 2 types of kidney transplants are:
- Living Donor transplant: This is when a healthy kidney is taken from someone who is living. The person is left with one kidney and the recipient lives with one kidney. In most cases, a donor can live a normal life with no negative side effects as the remaining kidney compensates, however some lifestyle changes will be needed such as not drinking alcohol and eating healthy.
- Cadaver Transplant: This transplant is done by getting a healthy kidney from a person who is brain-dead or very recently deceased; however, this option is not available to people who travel to another country for a transplant.
Our partner hospitals require that those seeking a kidney transplant must organise their own donor who is related to them. The donors must also consent to donating their kidney.
Once you have found a donor, you will have to go through a vetting process to make sure that the donor is indeed a relative and that they have consented to donating their kidney to you. IMT and our partner hospitals can help with this process.
The recipient and the donor have to also go through a series of tests before the surgery can be performed. These tests include:
- Kidney function test such as glomerular filtration rate (GFR)
- A physical examination with routine lab tests
- Viral tests to check for any active infections such as Hepatitis C, HIV or any other infections.
- 24-hour urine test.
- Compatibility test to ensure that your blood and that of the donor are compatible (however in some cases, an incompatible kidney transplant may be performed).
Life after Transplant surgery
Once the surgery is complete, follow up is done to ensure that both the donor and the recipient are in good health. There are several things the recipient should do after a transplant:
- Eating a healthy diet; foods that are low in fat, salt and cholesterol.
- Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.
- Regular exercises after recovering from the surgery, to improve your heart and lung health
- Take immunosuppressant drugs which are used to prevent the risk of your body rejecting the new kidney by weakening the body’s immune system.
- Avoid being around people who are sick.
IMT helps people from all over Africa who require a kidney transplant by finding them the right treatment at one of our partner hospitals who are all leading hospitals in their countries, and we help manage the entire process.
Our partner hospital in India has been the “busiest Solid Organ Transplant Programme In The World Since 2012” and our partner hospital in Thailand has been ranked the 9th best hospital in the world.