Kidney transplantation is thought to be the leading treatment for men and women with chronic kidney disease because quality of life and survival rates are often higher than in people who practice dialysis. The main conflict that kidney transplantation patients run into is the shortage of organs open for donation. Many people who are eligible for kidney transplantation are put on a transplant waiting list and require dialysis until an organ is available.
A kidney can be donated from a living family member, a living unrelated person, or from a person who has past away (deceased or cadaver donor) since only one kidney is required to live. Keep in mind that organs from living donors are preferred as they function more effectively and efficiently than those from donors who are deceased.
Some people with kidney disease are not suitable for a transplant. Older age and certain medical conditions may mean that it is safer to remain on dialysis rather than experience surgery. Some conditions that might prevent a person from being eligible for kidney transplantation include:
- Heart or vascular disease
- Active or recently treated cancer
- A chronic illness that can be terminal
- Uncontrolled mental illness
- Severe obesity
- Inability to remember to take medications
- Bad smoking or drinking habits
People with other medical conditions are assessed on a case-by-case basis to decide if kidney transplantation is right for you. For instance, some people with HIV infection may be candidates for kidney transplantation if their disease is kept under control.
Pros of Kidney Transplantation
Kidney transplantation is the preferred method of care for many people with end-stage renal disease. A prosperous surgery can better your quality of life and decrease your chance of organ failure from kidney disease. In addition, people who undergo kidney transplantation do not require hours of daily dialysis treatment. In an ideal world, patients who are fit to get a transplant do so before ever starting on dialysis.
Cons of Kidney Transplantation
Kidney transplantation is a serious surgical procedure that has risks both during and post surgery. The risks of the surgery include infection, bleeding, and damage to nearby organs. Even death can occur, although this is very rare.
Once the surgery takes place, you will be required to take medications and have life-long monitoring to minimize the chance of organ rejection. The medications can also have substantial side effects. If you have any questions regarding kidney transplant, contact United Dialysis Center and we will be happy to help.