04.09.2022 09:00

Understanding the Basics of Assessing a Patient for Kidney Transplant

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Kidneys are an important part of our body that are required to work effectively. They help us in excreting waste from our body. Kidneys are easily susceptible to damage due to our unhealthy lifestyle. In anything goes wrong with the kidneys, they either need to be treated with dialysis or replaced. Dialysis is a procedure in which helps in removing waste products from our body. But it does replace the kidneys. There a still lot of functions that are still not performed. There are times when treating them can prevent it from failing or at least, delay the failure. However, if the kidneys are failed completely, then they need to be replaced.

The procedure of replacing a damaged kidney with a healthy one is called kidney transplant. A new, healthy kidney is taken from a donor and placed in the damaged body. Once the transplant is completed, the kidney start functioning the way it should be like removing waste, producing hormones to prevent anaemia, convert Vitamin D in food in a healthy substance that helps in keeping bones healthy and strong and finally, controlling blood pressure. All the functions are restored with the help of kidney transplant. It helps in providing a better quality of life than dialysis to kidney patients. Nephrologists are responsible for performing kidney transplant procedures and if you are diagnosed with kidney problems, you should start looking for nephrologists in Lucknow.

Setting the Expectations Right for Kidney Transplant 

A successful kidney transplant is often considered to offer a better quality of life to patients than dialysis. Patients don’t have to mark a certain part of your day to go for the dialysis procedure after the transplant. They can easily resume their life without any dependency. However, what one must understand is that kidney transplant is a serious procedure. You are allowing a foreign organ in your body to settle and perform the same functions for you. But, your kidney specialist must evaluate you as a transplant candidate to ensure it’s the best choice for you.

Evaluation or assessment before the transplant is not something that happens in a jiffy. It can days or even months to assess the patient as the doctor needs to be completely sure that you are a right candidate for the transplant. Hence, a thorough evaluation is necessary. The patient would meet the transplant team, which may include a transplant surgeon, nephrologists, nurse and dietician. Each member of the team would explain their duties during the complete procedure and also inform about the potential risks. They would also guide you about the post-operative care and further lifestyle changes you may have to bring in your life to support the kidneys.
Basics of Patient Assessment

To confirm you as a suitable candidate for kidney transplant, you need to undergo an evaluation procedure.

These are the few basic steps for assessing a patient:

  • A coordinator or a nurse is assigned to you to gather all the necessary past medical information as well as will ask you to fill a questionnaire.
  • To cover the cost of the transplant, the hospital would contact the insurance provider
  • An appointment with the various members of the transplant team will be scheduled who will review your mental and physical health. During these appointments, the members on the transplant team would discuss the process to set your expectations right.
  • Once all the tests of the transplant patient are performed, the next big thing to evaluate is the compatibility of the donor kidney with your body. Your blood and tissue should match with the donor for you to be a suitable candidate. Following procedures will be performed to ensure the compatibility:-
    • Blood Type – The best scenario for the kidney transplant is when the patient’s blood type matches with the donor’s blood type. Your donor and you should have the same blood type (A, B, A+, B+, O, O+, O-).
    • Cross-matching – Our human body makes substances called antibodies that help in attacking and destroying foreign substances, like viruses or germs, to prevent you from diseases. Every time you have a blood transfusion or get pregnant or get a transplant, your body start making antibodies. If your body is making antibodies, in all probabilities, it will destroy the donor kidney. Hence, a blood test is performed to ensure that you don’t have antibodies.
    • Tissue Typing – The tissues in your body is tested with potential donor tissues. If it is a good match, your body is more likely to accept the donor kidney, else it will reject it.

Post the Evaluation 

Once the evaluation is complete, the transplant team will discuss your test results amongst themselves and decide if you are suitable candidate. If you don’t qualify, your transplant team will inform you about the next course of treatment.

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