WHAT IS A KIDNEY TRANSPLANT?
A kidney transplant is a surgical procedure that’s done to treat kidney failure. The kidneys filter waste from the blood and remove it from the body through your urine. They also help maintain your body’s fluid and electrolyte balance. If your kidneys stop working, waste builds up in your body and can make you very sick.
People whose kidneys have failed usually undergo a treatment called dialysis. This treatment mechanically filters waste that builds up in the bloodstream when the kidneys stop working.
Some people whose kidneys have failed may qualify for a kidney transplant. In this procedure, one or both kidneys are replaced with donor kidneys from a live or deceased person.
A kidney transplant is a treatment for kidney failure; it’s not a cure. You will need to take medicines every day to make sure your immune system doesn’t reject the new kidney. You will also need to see your health care provider regularly.
A working transplanted kidney does a better job of filtering wastes and keeping you healthy than dialysis. However, a kidney transplant isn’t for everyone. Your doctor may tell you that you’re not healthy enough for transplant surgery.
WHO DONATES THE KIDNEY?
Kidney donors may be either living or deceased.
LIVING DONORS: Because the body can function perfectly well with just one healthy kidney, a family member with two healthy kidneys may choose to donate one of them to you.
If your family member’s blood and tissues match your blood and tissues, you can schedule a planned donation.
Receiving a kidney from a family member is a good option. It reduces the risk that your body will reject the kidney, and it enables you to bypass the multiyear waiting list for a deceased donor.
DECEASED DONORS are also called cadaver donors. These are people who have died, usually as the result of an accident rather than a disease. Either the donor or their family has chosen to donate their organs and tissues.
Your body is more likely to reject a kidney from an unrelated donor. However, a cadaver organ is a good alternative if you don’t have a family member or friend who’s willing or able to donate a kidney.
To know more about the process is to talk with a specialist to find out whether you’re a candidate for a transplant.
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