What are the risks of Kidney Transplants?

February 9, 2009 by  
Filed under Kidney Health

A kidney transplant is a replacement of a damaged kidney with a good one. Kidney transplants involve some risks. This article will brief you on such perils.

Those suffering from complete kidney failure and not responding to drugs or other modes of treatment like kidney dialysis are advised to get a kidney transplant.

Risks relating to surgery:

Bleeding during the surgery and bleeding after the surgery is a risk involved in kidney transplant surgery.

Infection at the site of surgery is another risk which can occur.

Cardiac arrest due to post-surgery trauma is a rare kind of risk which can occur as a result of this surgery.

Post-surgical narrowing of the blood vessels leading to and from the kidney may cause high blood pressure. This may cause tissue damage in the kidney. This may also damage the organ to which the vessels of the kidney reach.
Clotting of blood in any part of the urinary system will block the flow of blood at that spot.

A crack in any part of the urinary system could leak urine into the body. This may poison the body.

Risks relating to transplant:

The immune system of our body identifies foreign objects like germs and rejects them. The doctors do some analysis to determine if a kidney transplant would be suitable for a patient. However, due to several factors which depend on the specific individual, the transplanted kidney may fail to work. A person’s immune system can also reject the transplanted kidney.

Acute rejection of the transplanted kidney can take place within a couple of weeks of the transplant. Chronic rejection occurs intermittently over a long period of time.

How to avoid the risks:

Immuno-suppressant drugs are administered to keep the immune system from rejecting the transplanted kidney.

The risk of rejection of transplanted kidney is low when the kidney is genetically very close to the patient’s original kidney. The body’s immune system is less likely to reject such kidneys. So it is advised to source a kidney from a living close relative.

Risks relating to drugs:

The immuno-suppressant drugs administered to treat rejection of kidney transplant could cause diabetes. Diabetes causes many ailments.

The drugs may fail to work on the kidneys and may cause the following:
• pain at the site of surgery,
• fever as a result of infection at the site of surgery and
• unhealthy changes in urine.

Being aware of the pros and cons of kidney transplant helps one take the right decision towards treatment of kidney failure.