What You Need To Know Before Kidney Transplant?

What You Need To Know Before Kidney Transplant?
June 4, 2024 by admin

Kidneys are bean-shaped organs located on either side of your spine and just below your rib cage. Each kidney will be as big as your fist, and it filters and removes waste, fluids, and minerals from your blood and produces urine. When kidneys lose their filtering capability, the levels of harmful fluids and waste products increase in your body. This, in turn, raises your blood pressure and leads to kidney failure, causing end-stage renal disease. Your kidneys would have lost approximately 90 per cent of their capability to function normally.

People suffering from the end-stage renal disease have to get waste removed from their bloodstream through a procedure called dialysis or undergo a kidney transplant in order to stay alive. Kidney transplantation involves a specialist doctor performing surgery to replace the damaged or non-functioning kidney(s) of a person with healthy kidney(s) harvested from a deceased or living donor.

Some Of The Common Causes That Lead To End-Stage Kidney Disease May Include:


People with diabetes often have high levels of blood sugar. This damages the filters in their kidneys and leads to kidney failure in the long run. This is referred to as diabetic nephropathy.

Hypertension Or High Blood Pressure: 

Hypertension damages the tiny blood vessels in the kidney and impairs the normal functioning of the filters.

Renal Artery Stenosis: 

Blockages in arteries that carry blood to the kidneys can also lead to end-stage renal disease.

Polycystic Kidney Disease: 

This is an inherited condition that causes the development of several large cysts or the formation of hollow spaces within the kidneys and prevents them from functioning normally.

Congenital Problems: 

Kidney developmental issues often occur before birth and often manifest when more than 90 per cent of the renal function is compromised.

Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Or SLE: 

This is a medical condition wherein your own immune system fails to recognise your kidneys as your own and attacks them, assuming that they are foreign objects.

If you are a resident of Chennai and have been diagnosed with any of the conditions mentioned above, it is highly recommended that you consult with the best kidney doctor in Chennai at the earliest.

What Causes Kidney Transplant?

Doctors often recommend a kidney transplant as a better option rather than undergoing dialysis for the rest of the life of a patient. This is because a kidney transplant results in:

  • Better quality of life for a patient with end-stage kidney disease
  • Reduced risk of early death
  • Fewer dietary restrictions
  • Reduced treatment costs

Some people may benefit from preemptive kidney transplants as well. However, for certain people with kidney failure, the risk of a kidney transplant may be higher compared to dialysis. Conditions that make a patient ineligible for kidney transplantation surgery include:

  • Advanced age
  • Severe heart disease
  • Recently treated or active cancer
  • Poorly controlled mental conditions or dementia
  • Drug or alcohol abuse

As one donated kidney can replace two non-functional kidneys, it makes living-donor kidney transplantation a serious option.

This means that you should consult with a kidney stone specialist in Chennai and make sure that your kidney stone or any other problem has not caused any damage to your kidneys.

Risks And Side Effects

Though transplantation is a treatment of choice for kidney failure, the surgery is not a cure. This is because some types of kidney diseases can occur even after a transplant. Furthermore, the health risk posed by a kidney transplant includes the rejection of the donor’s organ. Besides, anti-rejection medications (immunosuppressants) can cause side effects.

Kidney transplant surgery can lead to significant complications, such as:

  • Bleeding clots and blood clots
  • Leakage or blockage in the tube (ureter) linking the kidney to the bladder
  • Infections
  • Rejection/failure of the transplanted kidney
  • Infections or cancer passed on by the donated kidney
  • Heart attack, stroke, and even death

Side effects caused by anti-rejection medication include:

  • Thinning of bones or bone damages
  • Diabetes
  • Excessive hair loss or growth
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Increased cancer risk (specifically lymphoma and skin cancer
  • Acne
  • Infections
  • Puffiness
  • Weight gain

Kidney Transplant Surgery – What One Can Expect?

Before the surgery

The first step is finding the right-match kidney from a living or deceased donor. The donor may or may not be related to you. Your transplant surgeon will consider many factors for evaluating a donor’s kidney. The tests include:

  • Blood typing
  • Tissue typing
  • Crossmatch
  • Other factors include kidney size, matching age, and infection exposure

Irrespective of whether you are waiting for a donor or your transplant surgery has been scheduled, you need to stay healthy.

  • Take prescribed medications as suggested
  • Follow the recommended diet plan and exercise guidelines
  • Avoid smoking
  • Visit the doctor as suggested
  • Involve in healthy activities

During The Surgery

A kidney transplant surgery is performed under general anaesthesia. The team of doctors performing the surgery will monitor your blood pressure, heart rate, and blood oxygenation level during the procedure.

The surgeon will make an incision on one side of your lower abdomen and place the new kidney in your body. Your kidneys will be left in place unless they are causing problems such as elevated blood pressure, pain or infection, and kidney stones. The blood vessels in your lower abdomen will be attached to that of the new kidney, and its ureter will be connected to your bladder.

Post Kidney Transplant Care

After a kidney transplant surgery, you may have to spend many days, even up to a week, in the hospital. Doctors and nurses will monitor your condition to see if any complications develop. Often, the transplanted kidney will start filtering out urine immediately in the case of most people. For some people, it can take several days. They may even need to undergo dialysis temporarily until the new kidney begins to function normally.

You can expect pain or soreness around the site of the incision till it heals completely. Most people who undergo kidney transplant surgery can resume their normal activities in about eight weeks. However, they should avoid lifting objects heavier than 20 kilograms or involving in exercises other than walking until the wound has healed.

You may have to frequently visit your doctor for checkups as close monitoring is essential for a few weeks to determine how well your transplanted kidney is functioning and ensure that your body is not rejecting it.

Furthermore, you may have to undergo blood tests many times a week, and your medicine doses may be adjusted during the weeks following the transplant. Moreover, you will have to take a few medicines for the rest of your life.

In conclusion, it is normal to experience anxiety about rejection, getting back to work, and issues that can arise after the surgery while waiting for a kidney transplant. Seeking friends and family members’ support helps you cope with the stress.

Sugam Hospital

The multi-specialty healthcare facility in Chennai Sugam Hospital has an ultra-modern operation theatre complex that can handle all major surgeries, including kidney transplantation surgery, in various specialties. In fact, Sugam is the only healthcare facility in North Chennai that has been approved for kidney transplantation surgeries. Our team of nephrology specialists has successfully performed several renal transplants.

When it comes to facilities, the laminar flow air conditioning and HEPA filter systems maintain a positive pressure to improve sterility and the implementation of the CSSD module for infection control enhances patient safety. Besides that, Sugam boasts of having the best blood bank in Chennai.