Kidney Failure (cont.)
In this Article
How does kidney transplantation work?
What do you need to get ready for kidney transplantation?
It is very important for the donor's blood and tissues to closely match yours. This match will help prevent your body's immune system from fighting off, or rejecting, the new kidney. A lab will do special tests on blood cells to find out if your body will accept the new kidney.
How long does kidney transplantation take?
The surgery takes from 3 to 6 hours. The usual hospital stay may last from 10 to 14 days. After you leave the hospital, you will go to the clinic for regular follow-up visits.
If a relative or close friend gives you a kidney, he or she will probably stay in the hospital for one week or less.
What are the possible complications of a kidney transplantation?
Normally, 75 to 80 percent of transplants from cadaver donors are working one year after surgery. However, transplants from living relatives often work better than transplants from cadaver donors. This fact is because they are usually a closer match.
Your doctor will give you special drugs to help prevent rejection. These are called immunosuppressants. You will need to take these drugs every day for the rest of your life. Sometimes these drugs cannot stop your body from rejecting the new kidney. If this happens, you will go back to some form of dialysis and possibly wait for another transplant.
Treatment with these drugs may cause side effects. The most serious is that they weaken your immune system, making it easier for you get infections. Some drugs also cause changes in how you look. Your face may get fuller. You may gain weight or develop acne or facial hair. Not all patients have these problems, and makeup and diet can help.
Some of these drugs may cause problems such as cataracts, extra stomach acid, and hip disease. In a smaller number of patients, these drugs also may cause liver or kidney damage when used for a long period of time.
What is a good diet for a kidney transplant?
What are the pros and cons of kidney transplants?
Kidney transplantation cons
What questions to ask about kidney transplantation?
Portions of the above material has been provided with the kind permission of the National Institutes of Health.
Last Editorial Review: 2/20/2008
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