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Understanding Kidney Donation & Transplant Criteria: What You Need to Know



Kidney Donation & Transplant Overview

Kidney donation is an act that can save lives. It is a type of kidney transplant wherein a healthy person donates one of their kidneys to a person having kidney disease. To be a donor, you should not have any major illnesses, be at least 18 years old and shouldn't be overweight. There are two types of kidney donation- non-directed donation and directed donation.


Kidney transplant is considered the optimal treatment for patients having chronic kidney diseases. It is a type of organ transplant that can eliminate the need for dialysis and extend the lifespan of the patient. Some people may benefit from a kidney transplant before going on dialysis, a procedure known as a preemptive kidney transplant. During a kidney transplant, a healthy kidney is placed into a person whose kidneys do not function properly. If a compatible living donor is not found, the patient's name is placed on a kidney transplant waiting list. You should also ask your doctor about the kidney transplant cost and procedure before opting for it.


Causes of Kidney Failure


Kidney failure is a chronic health condition in which one or both kidneys stop functioning. Some of the causes of kidney failure include:

  • Diabetes
  • Acute kidney injuries
  • High blood pressure
  • Polycystic kidney disease
  • Lupus
  • Glomerular disease

You may be at risk of kidney failure if you have a history of kidney disease in your family, are over 60 or have abnormal kidney structure. Kidney failure can also be caused due to unexpected causes.


How to prevent kidney failure?


Diabetes and high blood pressure are the most common causes of diabetes. They adversely affect kidney functions. You should manage your blood sugar level and blood pressure, eat a healthy diet and reduce salt intake to reduce your chances of kidney failure and ensure optimal kidney function. Limiting alcohol consumption and less intake of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like naproxen and ibuprofen can also reduce your chances of kidney failure. If there is a stone in your kidney, then you should get the stone removed; otherwise, it can affect your kidney function.


What is dialysis?


Dialysis is an artificial kidney that helps your body get rid of excess fluids, waste products and unwanted toxins by filtering your body. When the kidney function is less than 10%, then waste products potassium, phosphorus and urea start getting accumulated in the body. Due to this, you start experiencing symptoms like vomiting, nausea, reduced appetite, and swelling in the body. Dialysis helps to keep the body's sodium, potassium and phosphorus levels balanced. It empowers you to live an active life with kidney failure. Dialysis is not an ideal treatment for kidney failure as it can't replace all kidney functions.


Kidneys make and release hormones essential for regulating and controlling certain body functions. But dialysis can't manufacture these vital hormones. In the later stage of chronic kidney disease, patients need medical supplements to compensate for the inability of the kidneys to produce hormones.


What is kidney transplantation?


A kidney transplant is a surgery wherein a healthy kidney from a deceased or living donor is placed into a person whose kidneys don't function optimally. During a kidney transplant, the healthcare provider or surgeon will take a donated kidney after proper assessment and place it in your body. Even though we have two kidneys, it is possible to lead a healthy life with only one. After the organ transplant, the patient is required to take immune-suppressing medications to ensure that the immune system doesn't attack the new organ.


A kidney transplant can save you from the strict schedule that goes with it and long-term dependence on a dialysis machine. In most cases, kidney transplant cost is not much higher than the total cost of dialysis. It also allows the patient to lead a more active life. But all patients are not ideal candidates for organ transplants. This includes people who are severely overweight or those with active infections. A kidney transplant cost can also be high.


Which is better- dialysis or kidney transplantation?

Kidney transplant and dialysis are treatments for severe kidney failure and end-stage kidney disease. Studies show that patients with successful kidney transplants live longer than patients on dialysis, and their kidney function is better. They also lead a better quality of life after the kidney transplant.


Kidney transplant is a boon to society. Although a kidney transplant offers an improved quality of life and a longer life expectancy for most patients, it is not suitable for everyone. People who are not ideal candidates for kidney transplantation or have been placed on a kidney transplant waiting list can be treated with either peritoneal dialysis or hemodialysis. But dialysis involves time commitment.


But dialysis is a huge time commitment. It requires the patients to sit in the hospital for four to five hours two or three days every week until they get a kidney transplant. Dialysis also increases the chances of any underlying cardiovascular disease. The chances of infection are also high in patients who're on dialysis.


But people who get dialysis adequately, eat a balanced diet and follow the instructions provided by their healthcare provider lead a healthy life. There are many patients who have been on dialysis for more than ten years yet are doing well.



At a reputed healthcare facility’s Kidney and Urology Institute, the healthcare team provides the latest treatment at affordable rates. You can also contact their doctors if you need guidance about a kidney transplant cost.

Dr. Shyam Bihari Bansal
Renal Care
Meet The Doctor
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