Kidney Transplant Surgery: Everything That You Need to Know About the Treatment

Kidney transplantation is not a rare treatment nowadays and there are many hospitals all over the world that have all the facilities and qualified surgeons to do this procedure successfully. Kidney transplant can be defined as the transfer of a healthy kidney from one person to the body of a person who has no or little kidney function.

When kidney transplant is essential?

Usually, doctors recommend a transplant, when a person is at the end stage of a renal disease, which is a permanent condition of kidney failure. This patient requires dialysis, a process of removing waste and other substances from the blood.

Some of the reasons that may lead to ESRD are the following:

  • Repeated urinary infections
  • Diabetes or high blood pressure that may cause kidney failure
  • Inherited disorders like Polycystic kidney disease
  • Inflammation of the kidney’s filtering units called as Glomerulonephritis
  • A rare disease called Hemolytic uremic syndrome that may result in kidney failure
  • Diseases of the immune system like Lupus

Where does the new kidney come from?

There are two sources to get kidneys for this purpose, living donors and deceased (non-living donors). Immediate family members or sometimes spouses are called as living donors, while people who have willed their kidneys before their death by signing organ donor cards are called deceased donors. A thorough check up and detailed tests are conducted to the donors in order to ensure that kidney is suitable march.

How is the transplant done?

New kidney is surgically placed on the lower right or left side of the patient’s abdomen by connecting it to nearby blood vessels and bladder. The vein and artery of the patient is connected to the vein and artery of the new kidney. As ureter of new kidney is attached the patient’s bladder, urine is allowed to pass out of the body.

How is it transplant beneficial?

Increased stamina, strength and energy are the after effects of a successful transplant. After the surgery, the patient will be able to return to a more normal lifestyle with a normal diet and more normal fluid intake. This treatment is a solution for Anemia, a common problem with kidney failure. Those, who have high blood pressure, could be on fewer blood pressure medications after transplantation.

How to live after a transplant?

Keeping a healthy lifestyle is essential after transplantation to minimize the risk of complications. Therefore, people who have undergone this surgery are directed to follow some important things like:

  • Smokers should stop smoking completely
  • Eat a healthy diet
  • Obese should lose weight
  • Should precautions to reduce risk of developing infections

There are many kidney hospitals all over the world that conduct kidney transplant surgery for years with the help of advanced technologies and facilities under the guidance of well qualified and experienced surgeons.

5 Foods That Make Your Kidney Healthy

For people with kidney ailments, eating healthy is tricky. However, it is definitely possible to maintain a wholesome diet with these vegetables on the menu:

• Red bell pepper: These peppers are low in potassium and high in flavour. The tasty vegetables are also an excellent source of vitamin C, A, and B 6, as well as folic acid and fibre.

• Garlic: Roast a head of garlic or just chop it and add it to your dish. Garlic goes a long way in promoting renal health.

• Onion: For people on a healthy-kidney diet looking to add more flavour to food, use any variety of onion that you can find- they are all good for you.

• Leeks: Leeks are rich in vitamin C and help ward of a cold. Leeks belong to the same family as garlic and onion. With their high flavonoid kaempferol content, leeks keep the blood vessel lining of your heart in excellent condition. Vitamin B folate and antioxidant polyphenols are other compounds in leeks that promote heart health. Leeks also help overcome aliments such as cancer, atherosclerosis, diabetes (type-2), high blood pressure, obesity, rheumatoid arthritis, and allergic airway inflammation.

• Apples: Bake them, smoke them, stew them, or eat them raw. Apples always emerge as winners when it comes to favourite renal-care foods.

Food to stay off:

While monitoring your healthy-kidney diet, it is essential to know the different foods to stay away from too! Here is a list of items that you need to ban from your kitchen it you suffer from chronic kidney ailments:

• Ice cream, chocolate, and cola;
• Beer and most alcoholic beverages;
• Coffee or any other caffeine-rich beverage;
• Oranges, potatoes, and bananas;
• Processed and salt-rich food;
• Most nuts and nut butters.

Risk factors:

More often than not, an unhealthy lifestyle leads to kidney ailments. However, there is certain other factor that increases the chances of a person suffering from kidney-related conditions. These include:

• High blood pressure: This is the second most prominent factor that causes kidney failure. It damages the tiny filters in your kidneys, resulting in kidney disease and failure.

• Diabetes: The kidneys help excrete toxins from the body. However, in case of diabetics, high blood sugar levels damage the delicate structure of the kidneys.

• Age: Those over the age of 55 are more vulnerable to suffering from a kidney ailment, there are chances that you will too. However, this can be prevented with regular check-ups and by maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Detecting Kidney Disease and Dysfunction: Three Steps to Protect Kidney Health

March is National Kidney Month and this year, March 14 was designated World Kidney Day. This year’s theme is “Amazing kidneys!” Recognition designed to highlight the importance of kidney function, comparing it to that of the heart and lungs.

More than 26 million Americans have some form of kidney disease. Because it often goes undetected, many of those people will never discover they have it until the disease has already progressed. Nephrologist Dr. Trevor From, notes, “Kidney disease is like hypertension in that it’s silent.” This lack of awareness makes kidney disease an even more insidious killer.

The Kidney Foundation’s national president, Niloufer Bhesania emphasizes that, “World Kidney Day is a great way of promoting the importance of taking care of your kidneys and your overall health. It is also an opportune time to make a monetary donation to assist others or to make a positive decision regarding organ donation and to speak of your wishes with loved ones.”

Kidney disease affects at least one in 10 Americans. That increases the chances that you, someone you know, or a loved one, might be at risk of developing kidney disease. This most often occurs as a complication of heart disease, diabetes, and/or high blood pressure, which are its leading causes. Because of its effect on blood filtration, kidney dysfunction can lead to many other serious degenerative diseases such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, high blood pressure, and even cancer.

Considered the body’s master chemists, the kidneys main function is to remove toxins from the blood,by filtering blood plasma and separating waste substances from useful chemicals. However, they do much more than that, producing certain hormones that regulate blood pressure, blood volume and blood pH, along with red blood cell production.

The kidneys hallmark is their outstanding filtering capacity. Dr. Barbara Ballermann, a professor of medicine and the director of the division of nephrology and immunology at the University of Alberta, offered this analogy, “Think of the gasoline tank of a car. You might have 60 liters in a tank. Well, the kidneys filter over three times as much every day. This is a huge rate of filtration. If they get hurt or sick, you end up losing vital protein in the urine and that can be detrimental to life.”

When the kidneys fail to function properly, it can lead to complete kidney failure, which causes toxins and waste products to accumulate in the body. This disrupts the chemical balance, as well as the thickness and volume of blood and other body fluids. The facts are plain; kidney disease is common, damaging, and often is undetected by those who have it. It is also treatable, so that kidney failure is not the only outcome. For those with kidney failure, dialysis, or a kidney transplant are the only chances of survival.

To manage your kidney health, follow this simple three-step process.

Determine if you are at risk.

  1. Do you have high blood pressure, heart disease, or diabetes
  2. Are you African-American, Native-American or Asian-American
  3. Do you smoke
  4. Do you have high cholesterol
  5. Are you obese
  6. Do you have a family member whose kidneys have failed
  7. Are you older than 65 years of age

Dr. Michael Copland, past-chair of The Kidney Foundation of Canada’s Medical Advisory Committee, notes, “People at higher risk for developing kidney disease need to pay close attention to their kidney health. Regular monitoring of the kidneys, through simple blood and urine tests can show how well the kidneys are functioning. These tests also allow people to gauge their risk for developing kidney failure in the future.”

Perform annual testing.

  1. Urinalysis
  2. Blood testing (basic panels including blood sugar, cholesterol and kidney function tests)
  3. Blood pressure

Your health practitioner will examine your results looking at several factors. The two laboratory blood tests that measure kidney function are creatinine and blood urea nitrogen, or BUN.The creatinine level measures kidney function and is often elevated with kidney damage. BUN, another indicator, is used along with the Creatinine/BUN ratio to further assess kidney functioning.

Albumin is an essential protein in human blood that helps regulate blood pressure. Albuminuria, the presence of albumin in urine, is a sign that albumin is leaking into the urine. This is one of the early signs of chronic kidney disease.

Estimated GFR or (e-GFR) is another useful measurement of kidney function. Chronic kidney disease causes a reduced e-GFR, as shown through blood testing. It is calculated using age, sex and the serum creatinine blood test result, to estimate the kidneys ability to filter waste products.

Practice prevention

  1. Eat a diet full of natural and unprocessed foods that enhance health
  2. Drink adequate amounts of water
  3. Cut down on salt consumption
  4. Get some form of exercise daily
  5. Maintain a healthy weight
  6. Develop healthy stress management techniques
  7. Practice good sleep habits
  8. Avoid smoking and drug or alcohol abuse

Kidney health effects, and is affected by, all other systems in the body. Maintaining healthy kidneys will minimize your risk of developing other degenerative diseases. By creating awareness and focusing on this often-overlooked aspect of wellness, you can maintain full kidney function and experience improved overall health and well-being throughout your lifetime.