A kidney transplant involves the taking of a kidney from the body of a healthy person or cadaver and implanting it surgically into the body of someone who has lost kidney function. The transplanted kidney can then perform the function of that person’s own kidneys. A successful kidney transplant will allow you to have a better quality of life, improves lifestyle and will free you from dialysis treatments.
Whilst a transplant is not a cure for kidney failure, it does allow patients to live a more “normal” life than that experienced on dialysis. Patients with a well-functioning transplant have a greater sense of well-being and are able to enjoy a lifestyle free of dependence on dialysis treatments, although they must continue with their transplant drug treatment.
A transplant can mean improvement in anaemia, bone disease and in children, body growth. It also offers freedom from previous dietary and/or fluid restrictions and from restrictions on time and mobility.
It is the treatment of choice for chronic kidney failure for those who are considered suitable candidates for a transplant. To find out if you are a candidate, your health care team will perform a series of tests as part of a complete medical assessment.
Many ESRD patients benefit greatly from a kidney transplant. After successful transplantation, patients no longer require dialysis. Today there are many patients on waiting list to receive a kidney transplant. The development of effective anti-rejection drugs means that the prognosis for five-year survival for most of these patients is high.
To avoid rejection, the best possible source of kidney donation is a close relative whose blood and tissue type match the patient’s. Donated organs from cadavers also have high success rates. A growing source of kidneys for transplantation comes from living donors who are not blood relatives, but with whom the patient has an emotional tie, such as a spouse, friend or co-worker.