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When Is A Kidney Transplant Needed?

By Dr. Dinesh Khullar in Kidney Transplant

May 25 , 2018 | 3 min read

Kidney transplantation involves placing a healthy kidney from a living or deceased individual to a patient whose kidneys no longer function properly on a permamnent basis. Whenever feasible, it is recommended as the treatment of choice for patients with kidney failure, the other form of treatment being lifetime dialysis. A kidney transplant can effectively treat chronic kidney disease, and help patients feel better and lead a normal life for years.

Functioning of a healthy kidney

There are millions of tiny filters present in both kidneys that are known as nephrons. These nephrons filter out the harmful waste products and chemicals from the blood along with excess fluid in the form of urine. The urine passes out of the kidneys into tubes (known as ureters) into the urinary bladder from where it flows out of the body through the urethra. Kidneys play a major role in controlling the blood pressure. They also help regulate the levels of different chemicals in blood like sodium, potassium, calcium and phosphorous. Other functions include producing a hormone called erythropoietin that stimulates the production of red blood cells.

Kidney Disease

Many diseases can damage the nephrons because of which the kidneys lose their filtering capacity. It leads to high concentration of waste products and chemicals in the body that may eventually become life-threatening. When the kidneys lose around 90% of their filtering ability, the individual is said to have end-stage kidney disease.

Causes of End-Stage Kidney Disease

Some of the common causes of end-stage kidney disease include:

  1. Diabetes – Diabetes is the most common cause of kidney failure across most parts of the world. High level of blood sugar over many years, slowly damages the filters in the kidneys. What results is chronic kidney disease (called diabetic nephropathy) that slowly progresses leading to end-stage kidney failure.
  2. High Blood Pressure (Hypertension) – The increase in blood pressure of the tiny blood vessels in kidneys causes chronic irreversible damage leading to kidney disease.
  3. Glomerulonephritis – Inflammation of blood vessels and other parts of the nephrons leads to slow damage and scarring. It can happen in patients with autoimmune diseases like lupus and ANCA vasculitis in which the immune system recognises the kidney as a foreign body and attacks it.
  4. Interstitial Nephritis – This is like an allergic reaction of the kidney. Certain medicines or herbal products can lead to inflammation in the interstitial compartment causing chronic kidney disease. 
  5. Renal Artery Stenosis – It refers to the blockages in the arteries that bring blood to the kidneys over time.
  6. Polycystic Kidney Disease – It is an inherited condition in which several large cysts or hollow spaces are formed within the kidney that makes its normal functioning difficult.
  7. Congenital Problems – It occurs before birth and manifests when the kidneys lose over 90% of their functional capacity.

The need for a kidney transplant surgery

End-Stage kidney disease results in a build-up of different toxins and waste products in the blood that can lead to coma and death. Treatment of end-stage kidney disease is termed renal replacement therapy. Renal replacement therapy can be performed in the form of dialysis or kidney transplantation.

People suffering from end-stage kidney disease or kidney failure may benefit from getting a kidney transplant instead of living on dialysis. Kidney transplantation offers an overall better quality of life and helps avoid side effects of dialysis. Patients who have had a kidney transplant performed have fewer dietary restrictions as compared to patients continuing dialysis. Moreover, the kidney transplant cost in Delhi is much less compared to the cost of dialysis that lasts for a lifetime. Also, patients who receive a kidney transplant tend to live longer than those who stay on dialysis.

Choosing the best kidney transplant hospital in Delhi increases the chances of living a healthy life. The transplant is a success if the patient takes the required immunosuppressant medications and takes proper follow-up care after the procedure to prevent rejection of the new organ by the body’s immune system. We at Max Healthcare are equipped with state-of-the-art medical facilities and experienced nephrologists who have performed a number of successful kidney transplants.