Frequently Asked Questions Before Kidney Transplantation

How is the patient’s suitability for kidney transplantation evaluated?

Chronic kidney failure can occur for a variety of reasons. For this reason, the patient should first undergo a very detailed examination and his medical history should be investigated. At this point, the treatments received by the patient, the diagnoses made, the history of surgery and other examination information are evaluated.

It is very important how long the patients on hemodialysis or peritoneal dialysis treatment receive these treatments. Apart from this, the heart, vascular system and diabetes play a significant role in this regard.

If problems in the heart and vascular system are detected in the detailed research, the treatment of these problems is started first. If a problem is not detected, other systems are also subjected to a detailed investigation. As a result of these investigations, it is determined whether the patient is suitable for the transplant process.

Other areas where the patient is evaluated are:

Nephrology, transplant surgery, cardiology, obstetrics, anesthesiology; When necessary, the patient and his donor are evaluated with pulmonology, psychiatry, urology and other specific consultations.

What does cross transplant mean?

If the patient has a living donor but there is a blood or tissue – cross match incompatibility, kidney transplantation is performed by matching donor and recipient couples with similar problems.

In case of swapping donors, cross-transplantation can be resorted to if the tests are compatible.

Is a living donor more advantageous in kidney transplantation?

In kidney transplants, living donation offers twice as longer success rate compared to deceased donation. The reasons for better outcome are:

Better planning before the Surgery

Detailed immunologic screen before transplantation

Chance for paired donation and having better tissue and blood group match

Can people in vegetative life be donors?

The person whose organs are to be donated must be brain dead. People with brain death do not have recovery options. However, people in a vegetative state or coma have a chance to return to life. For this reason, organs are not taken from people in a vegetative state. Today there is definite diagnosis to be sure for differential diagnosis. So brain death can not be mixed with vegetative state for sure

What are the risks of living kidney donors?

According to the common data revealed by numerous scientific studies carried out to date; The donor’s life is not restricted in any way with the kidney taken from healthy people who are suitable for transplantation. There is no deterioration in the health of kidney donors.

If various and detailed examinations are started to be a kidney donor; Any problems that may occur can be detected early. In this way, the quality of life can be increased with regular controls and treatment. Except this; In this process, the awareness of kidney donors about health also increases, they stay away from smoking and pay attention to their diet.

Of course, these positive aspects do not show that the surgery is risk-free. Even the smallest surgical intervention has risks, albeit minimal. For this reason, there are risks related to the operation (infection, bleeding) in kidney donors. Healthy individuals who take these risks, albeit low, make sacrifices in kidney transplantation at this point. For this reason, it is vital to express the risks accurately and clearly to the donor, and to carry out these procedures in professional, successful centers with sufficient technical-technological facilities, where these risks will be kept at a minimum.

How is the recovery process after kidney transplantation with a living donor?

Kidney donor can return home from the hospital 2-3 days later. It may take up to 7 days for him to return to his daily life after the operation. However, this period may vary according to the surgical technique. The recovery process is faster in the methods performed with the retroperitoneoscopic technique. After the closed surgery, the scars are so small that they do not cause aesthetic anxiety, the donor feels less pain. The application of the surgery with open, laparoscopic or robotic method is related to the health status of the people.

The patient who has a kidney transplant can return home after 6-7 days. However, this period may vary according to the comorbidities of the patient.

Prof. Dr. Barış Akın
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