Kidney Transplant: Types, Complications & Side Effect

A surgical procedure to remove the kidneys which are not functioning properly and place a healthy kidney from a live or deceased donor is called Kidney transplant.

Updated: June 16, 2022

A surgical procedure to remove the kidneys which are not functioning properly and place a healthy kidney from a live or deceased donor is called Kidney transplant. The stage where kidneys become damaged and can no longer function well enough is known as end stage renal disease (ESRD). At this stage kidney transplant is required. This is one of the major complications of diabetic.

Kidneys are the most vital organ of human body which  remove waste fluid from your body, maintain your blood pressure, and keep your bones strong. They also ensure that you have the right amount of potassium and sodium , in your blood. They produce the hormone that causes your body to create red blood cells. Prolonged high sugar will cause chronic kidney disease which requires kidney transplant. A kidney transplant offers lower risk of death, better quality of life and fewer dietary restrictions than dialysis. Hence it is preferred then dialysis.


Types of Kidney Transplant:

There are 3 types of kidney transplant.


Deceased-donor Kidney Transplant :

When a kidney from someone who has recently died is removed and placed in a recipient whose kidneys have failed and no longer function properly is called deceased-donor kidney transplant.

The kidney will be removed with consent of the family or from a donor card. Until the kidney is transplanted into the recipient, the donated kidney is either stored on ice or connected to a machine that provides oxygen and nutrients.


Living-donor Kidney Transplant:

When a kidney from someone who is alive is removed and placed in a recipient whose kidneys have failed and no longer function properly is called living-donor kidney transplant.


Only one donated kidney will be sufficient to survive when replaced with two failed kidneys. This makes living-donor kidney transplant an alternative to deceased-donor kidney transplant.


Living-donor kidney transplant have some benefits compared with deceased-donor kidney transplant, such as

  • Time spent on a waiting list could be avoided once  your donor is approved which could prevent possible complications and deterioration of health.
  • A pre-scheduled transplant once your donor is approved can be done rather than an unscheduled, emergency transplant procedure with a deceased donor.
  • Higher rate of short- and long-term survival.
  • Compared to deceased-donor kidneys,living-donor kidneys almost always start working immediately after transplant .
  • Your blood and tissue types need to be compatible with the donor's for a living-donor Kidney Transplant.
  • Successful transplant may still be possible with additional medical treatment before and after transplant to desensitize your immune system and reduce the risk of rejection,if donor isn't a match.
  • Genetically related family members are most likely to be compatible living kidney donors. But it could be a  friend, co-worker or sometimes a unknown person.


Pre-emptive Kidney Transplant:

A kidney transplant that takes place before your kidney function deteriorates to the point of needing dialysis to replace the normal filtering function of the kidneys is called as pre-emptive kidney transplant. This is done much before  End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD).
The benefits of pre-emptive kidney transplant before dialysis for people with end-stage kidney disease include: 

  •     Lower risk of rejection of the donor kidney
  •     Improved survival rates
  •     Improved quality of life
  •     Lower treatment costs
  •     Avoidance of dialysis and its related dietary restrictions and health complications


Complications of Kidney Transplant:

Kidney transplant surgery could have complications including:

  •     Blood clots
  •     Bleeding
  •     Leaking from or blockage of the tube (ureter) that links the kidney to the bladder
  •     Infection
  •     Failure of the donated kidney
  •     Rejection of the donated kidney
  •     An infection or cancer that can be transmitted with the donated kidney
  •     Death, heart attack and stroke


Side Effects Of Kidney Transplant

After a kidney transplant, the anti-rejection  medications that you take to help prevent your body from rejecting the donor kidney can have side effects such as

  •     Acne
  •     Bone thinning (osteoporosis) and bone damage (osteonecrosis)
  •     Diabetes
  •     Excessive hair growth or hair loss
  •     High blood pressure
  •     High cholesterol
  •     Increased risk of cancer, particularly skin cancer and lymphoma
  •     Infection
  •     Puffiness
  •     Weight gain




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