Renal transplant is considered as the most reliable solution to kidney disease. Renal transplant relieves you from the dependency of dialysis which is time as well as labour consuming.
How safe is a renal transplant?
It also imparts the patient comparably more active life.
However, a renal transplant may induce several after-effects both dire and troubling on the patient afterward. Some of them are listed below:
- It may cause an allergic reaction to anesthesia
- Leakage and blockage in the ureter
- There is always a running risk of kidney rejection which may prove to be fatal
- Failure of a donated kidney
- Stroke or heart attack
- A patient may acquire cold or flu which is common after the transplant
- Potentially more serious infections such as pneumonia and cytomegalovirus may occur
As is prescribed by the doctors, the patient has to commit to the life-long consumption of anti-rejection medications which also have their own side effects which are listed as below:
- Patient may put on weight more than usual
- A patient may experience thinning of bones
- Increased hair growth due to hormonal imbalance caused by the medication
- A patient has a higher risk of being afflicted with certain skin cancers and Non-hodgkin’s lymphoma
Alternatives for renal transplant:
Though renal transplant is desirable to any other mode of treatment, sometimes doctors have to go for the alternatives under circumstances where patient either does not pass the evaluation test or is yet to wait for the transplant for various reasons. Thus, it is prudent to stick with other aids until the main window is open for the patient.
Hemodialysis or hemo for short uses a machine to clean the blood and can be carried out at home or in a dialysis centre or in a hospital. It can be usually performed three times a week and takes about 4 to 5 hours.
An arteriovenous fistula is surgically placed in the patient’s arm and an artery and a vein are joined together. AV fistula is connected to a hemodialysis machine which drains the blood and mixes a dialysate solution to it which removes the waste substances and fluid and filtered blood returns to the bloodstream.
Possible complications: It may inflict muscle cramps and the patient may also suffer from hypotension (low blood pressure) making him/her feel dizzy and sick. Such symptoms may be evaded by taking a proper requisite diet.
Peritoneal dialysis :
A tube is surgically inserted into the lower abdomen near the navel while the dialysate solution is instilled into the peritoneal cavity lined by two special membrane layers known as Peritoneum. Dialysate is left in the cavity for a specific period of time where it absorbs impurities and toxins. The fluid is then taken out from the abdomen, tested and disposed off.
There are three different types of peritoneal dialysis:
- Continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis (CAPD)
- Continuous cyclic peritoneal dialysis (CCPD)
- Intermittent peritoneal dialysis (IPD)
Possible complications: One of the main complications is Peritonitis (infection in the peritoneum cavity) causing fever and stomach pain. The risk can be reduced by sufficient intake of various proteins, salts and fluid and reducing calorie intake.
Though dialysis is a lifesaving treatment, it is not recommended to rely on it for a long period of time. It performs only 10% of the work a healthy kidney does and on top of that, has detrimental effects on the body causing serious health issues such as anemia, heart diseases and even nerve damage to name a few. The average life expectancy for a patient on dialysis is generally 5 years.
Patients who have undergone a kidney transplant, on the other hand, live longer than those on dialysis. They have a longer life expectancy of about 12 to 20 years.