Renal transplantation, or kidney transplant, is a surgical procedure that has revolutionized the treatment of kidney failure. This procedure involves replacing a diseased kidney with a healthy one from a donor.
The Need for Renal Transplantation
Kidneys are vital organs that filter waste, minerals, and fluid from the blood. When kidneys lose this filtering ability, harmful levels of fluid and waste accumulate in the body, leading to end-stage renal disease (ESRD). Common causes of ESRD include diabetes, chronic high blood pressure, chronic glomerulonephritis, and polycystic kidney disease.
Patients with ESRD require dialysis or a kidney transplant to stay alive1. While dialysis helps remove waste from the bloodstream, a kidney transplant offers a more permanent solution.
A kidney transplant involves placing a healthy kidney from a living or deceased donor into the patient’s body. The new kidney is usually placed in the lower abdomen. Only one donated kidney is needed to replace two failed kidneys.
Compared to dialysis, renal transplantation offers several benefits. It provides a better quality of life, lower risk of death, fewer dietary restrictions, and lower treatment costs.
While renal transplantation can significantly improve the quality of life for patients with ESRD, it’s not without risks. Recipients must remain on immunosuppressants to prevent their body from rejecting the new organ. This long-term immunosuppression puts them at higher risk for infections and cancer.
Disclaimer: This blog post is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. Always consult with a healthcare professional before making any decisions related to your health or treatment.