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What is a Kidney Transplant?


What is a Kidney Transplant?

Windowofworld.com – Kidney transplant is a medical step that is used to treat kidney conditions that are not functioning properly or commonly called kidney failure. Through this method, the doctor will perform surgery to replace a damaged kidney with a healthy kidney from the donor.

Kidney is a vital organ in the body that functions to filter waste substances from the blood and then excrete them through urine. However, a kidney that has been damaged cannot do that process. As a result, waste substances can accumulate in the body. If left unchecked, this condition has the potential to be life threatening.

Actually waste substances can be removed by dialysis, but this method can be very inconvenient and time-consuming. Therefore, kidney transplantation is often considered the best treatment for kidney failure.

Understanding Kidney Transplants

So, how to get the kidney? One way is from living donors. The donor can be from family, friends, or anyone who wants to give his kidney and is ready to live with one kidney in his body.

Kidney can also be obtained from a deceased person who has bequeathed his organs for medical purposes. Most cases of kidney donors come from them.

After getting a kidney from a donor, you will undergo a series of tests to make sure the kidney matches your blood type and body tissue. This is to prevent the possibility of the body’s rejection of the kidney.


You are advised to keep the body healthy while waiting for the availability of a suitable kidney by carrying out the following activities:

  • Taking medicines and foods that have been recommended by doctors.
  • Stop smoking, if you smoke.
  • Limit alcoholic drinks.
  • Exercise according to doctor’s instructions.
  • Regularly consult with the medical team.

Living a healthy life can help the healing process after surgery.

In fact, a kidney transplant cannot be done if you have a deadly disease such as cancer, heart disease, lung disease, or are experiencing an infection.

How is the kidney transplant process done?

After getting a suitable kidney, you can immediately undergo transplant surgery. Usually, this operation takes about three to four hours. During that time you will not regain consciousness because you will be totally sedated.

The medical team will start the operation by making an incision and then place a new kidney in the lower part of your stomach. If your old kidney causes complications such as kidney stones, high blood pressure, kidney cancer or infection, the medical team will remove the kidney from your body.

Then the medical team will connect the blood vessels from the new kidney to the blood vessels in the lower abdomen and connect the ureter (the channel that connects the kidneys to the bladder) from the new kidney to your bladder.

Usually, the new kidney can immediately carry out its function as soon as blood flows to the organ. But in some cases, the kidneys take longer to produce urine. While waiting for the new kidney to work optimally, you can dialysis and take medicines to help the kidneys remove excess salt and fluids from the body.

Is this method risky?

Every surgical procedure has a risk of complications. Likewise kidney transplant. The following risks of short-term and long-term complications that may occur to you:

Risk of short-term complications

  • Infection.
  • Narrowing of the arteries.
  • Blood clotting.
  • Blockage of the ureter or channel that carries urine from the kidneys to the bladder.
  • Urine leakage.
  • Rejection of the body against new kidneys.
  • Death, heart attack and stroke.

Living Life with One Kidney

In the first weeks after surgery, you are required to regularly control your health to the hospital, maybe two to three times a week. After that the quantity of visits will begin to decrease to two or three months, with a note if you do not have serious health problems after the transplant.

The risk of getting cancer, especially skin cancer, increases after transplantation. Therefore, it is advisable to check the condition of your skin and other parts of your body regularly to examine the seeds of skin cancer and other types of cancer.

In addition to the above, you are required to live a healthy lifestyle because now there is only one kidney that functions properly in your body. Here are the things you need to do after undergoing a kidney transplant:

1. Change your diet.

Most people can still eat a variety of foods after a kidney transplant. But it is possible that you are advised to avoid certain types of food during the first weeks of taking high-dose immunosuppressant drugs.

Foods that might cause infection should be avoided. Examples of such intake include foods containing raw eggs such as mayonnaise, undercooked meat, and milk products that have not been pasteurized.

After the dosage of the immunosuppressant drug has been determined and the new kidney has been functioning properly, you will be advised to undergo a healthy diet.

The diet that should be included in your diet consists of:

  • Lots of fruit and vegetables.
  • Little dairy products.
  • Many foods are made from wheat.
  • A little meat, eggs, beans, and other protein foods.

Avoid consuming too much food that contains a lot of salt and sugar to avoid the risk of high blood pressure and diabetes.

2. Do not smoke.

People who have only two healthy kidneys are forbidden to smoke, especially those of you who only have one kidney. So you are strongly advised to stop smoking these tobacco rolls, because smoking can reduce the durability of your new kidney. In addition, smoking can also increase the risk of getting cancer.

3. Exercise regularly.

After your physical condition is declared to have recovered, you are advised to exercise regularly. At least you take the time to exercise 2.5 hours every week. Sports that you can do are brisk walking, swimming, biking, and playing tennis.

Kidney transplant procedure in a hospital is an attempt to extend the life of patients with kidney failure. Most new kidneys last 1 to 5 years, but some are able to survive up to 15 years. Kidney resistance depends on how well the kidneys are fit with the body, the source of the kidney, as well as your age and overall health condition.

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