If you’re faced with the scenario of receiving a kidney transplant, it can be an overwhelming and challenging subject to comprehend. However, making an informed decision as soon as possible is necessary to promote future health.
In this guide, you’ll receive in-depth information about a kidney transplant procedure so you can fully understand the entirety of your options.
What is a Kidney Transplant?
Your kidneys are an integral component of your body, responsible for filtering your blood of impurities. When your kidneys die or fail, treatment is necessary to replicate that role. There are two primary types of treatment for kidney failure: transplant and dialysis.
Dialysis is a short-term solution that is readily available to people with failed kidneys. However, dialysis isn’t a permanent alternative; you will need to take treatments on a regular basis just to stay alive.
On the other hand, a kidney transplant offers a better quality of life and more freedom than dialysis because your failed kidneys will be replaced by kidneys that work properly.
Unlike dialysis treatment, receiving a kidney transplant places fewer limits on what you can eat or drink. Nonetheless, it’s important to still follow a hearty diet prescribed by your physician to achieve optimal health.
What’s more, is that a kidney transplant will allow you to live the life you had before you got chronic kidney disease. There are plenty of studies that prove that people who receive kidney transplants live longer than those who remain on dialysis.
However, there are several risks of receiving a kidney transplant. One negative is the surgery. Even if you work with one of the top Texas transplant specialists, there is still the risk of an unsuccessful surgery.
This isn’t to scare anyone. It’s just worth pointing out that all surgeries, kidney transplants included, carry a significant risk everyone should be aware of. Furthermore, if you receive a kidney transplant, you’ll need to consume anti-rejection medicines for the rest of the time your new kidney(s) are working. These medicines carry noticeable side effects, which increase the risks of cancer and infections.
The good news is that many kidney transplants are successful and last many years. Though, many people may need one or more kidney transplants during their lifetime, as the effects of the procedure can vary depending on the person.
What is an Early or “Preemptive” Transplant?
A “preemptive” transplant takes place before dialysis. This transplant will allow you to avoid dialysis altogether. Although the terminology is closely related, an early transplant takes place not long after your kidneys fail and sometimes after a few dialysis treatments.
Both transplants have tremendous benefits for chronic kidney disease patients.
According to Kidney.org, some studies show that both treatments have long-term health effects for patients. Other benefits include better quality of life, less time and money spent, more freedom to continue working.
Who Can Get a Kidney Transplant?
Regardless of your age, you can receive a kidney transplant if your kidneys have failed. However, you must be healthy enough to go through with the procedure. One basic requirement is that you must not have any form of cancer or infection.
Additionally, before you can be considered for a transplant, you must be evaluated both medically and psychosocially. The purpose of this evaluation is to find any issues that can be corrected before the procedure. For most people, a kidney transplant is their best choice of treatment.
What if I’m Older with or Have Other Health Conditions?
In many cases, elderly people with pre-existing health conditions can still receive a kidney transplant. Though, a comprehensive evaluation is required to identify special risks.
Sometimes, you may be asked to do specific things to reduce the risk of an unsuccessful transplant, such as losing weight, partaking in a certain diet, or quitting smoking.
If you have diabetes Type 1, you could be eligible to receive a pancreas transplant. Fortunately, many kidney transplant centers Texas provide both pancreatic and kidney transplants.
How Does Payment Work?
Medicare generally covers at least 80 percent of the medical costs associated with a kidney transplant and related medications. State programs and private insurance companies may take on some of these costs as well.
It’s essential to note that your post-transplant expenses may only be covered by a limited number of years. As a result, you should discuss this with your social worker and visit with centers that provide pre and post kidney transplant care.
How Do I Begin the Transplant Process?
So, you’ve decided to receive a kidney transplant? The good news is that the process is entirely straightforward. Simply ask your doctor to refer you to a transplant center to receive an evaluation.
Alternatively, you can contact a transplant center in your area. Any patient with a kidney condition can ask for an evaluation.
What Happens After a Kidney Transplant?
Once your kidney transplant surgery is completed and you are sent home, the most important phase begins – the follow-up. For your transplant to be completely effective and successful, you will need to undergo several regular checkups.
Especially during the first year, these checkups will be extensive. Oftentimes, you may need to take blood tests several times a week. The overall purpose of these checkups is to ensure that your new kidneys are working properly and that you are being prescribed the correct amount of anti-rejection medication.
What if My Body Rejects My New Kidney?
Due to the rise in the effectiveness of immunosuppressive medicines, it’s become less likely that new kidneys will be rejected by your body.
The most likely chance that this occurrence will ever happen is directly after your surgery. This is why checkups are important to ensure that your kidneys are properly working.
Rejections usually aren’t accompanied by noticeable symptoms. Though, the chances of a rejection drop significantly after your surgery, which means the more time after your surgery has passed, the less chance a rejection will happen.
Do you require pre and post kidney transplant care from one of the most renowned pre and post kidney transplant facilities? Do you have any questions relating to kidney failure and transplants?
At South Texas Renal Care Group, we specialize in cutting-edge kidney care treatments. For more assistance, please call us at (210) 212-8622 to receive an evaluation.