Many kidney dialysis patients facing kidney failure choose to undergo a kidney transplant rather than live a lifetime on dialysis. Compared to dialysis, a kidney transplant can provide:
- Improved quality of life
- Lower risk of death
- Less dietary restrictions
- Reduced treatment cost
Should you decide to pursue kidney transplantation, there is much to consider:
- Determining your candidacy
- Knowing the risks and costs
- Selecting a trusted transplant center
- Preparing for, undergoing and recovering from the procedure itself
The kidney transplant procedure: Finding a match
This phase of kidney transplant is all about compatibility. It involves blood typing, tissue matching and blood cross matching (to determine if your blood antibodies may react against antigens in the donor’s blood). You can receive a kidney donation from a person living or deceased, related or not to you. Living-donor kidney transplantation is possible because only one donated kidney is needed to replace two failed kidneys.
What if a compatible living donor isn’t available? Your name may be placed on a kidney transplant waiting list to receive a kidney from a deceased donor. The waiting period will depend on the degree of matching/compatibility between you and the donor and several other factors. Some people get a match within several months, while others wait several years.
Preparing for your kidney transplant procedure
Whether you’re waiting for a donated kidney or your transplant surgery is already scheduled, strive to stay healthy. Maintaining good habits can help you be ready for the surgery, and may even speed your recovery. Be sure to:
- Take all medications as prescribed
- Stick to diet and exercise guidelines
- Keep all appointments with your health care team
- Stay as active as possible, including relaxing and spending time with family and friends
Recovering from kidney transplantation
Here are a few things to expect after your surgery:
- Hospitalization – Your condition will be closely monitored in a hospital for signs of complications as your new kidney starts to produce urine. Expect soreness or pain around the incision site as you heal. You will likely be in the hospital for about one week, but with diligent post-operative care, most people return to work and other normal activities within three to eight weeks after transplant.
- Follow-up care – Frequent check-ups are vital to the progress of your recovery. You may need blood tests several times a week, or to have your medications adjusted in the weeks after your transplant.
- A lifelong medications routine – Following your surgery, you’ll take anti-rejection medications to help keep your immune system from attacking and rejecting your new kidney. Other drugs can help reduce the risk of other complications like post-op infection.
The leading kidney doctors just so happen to be in South Texas
At South Texas Renal Care Group, we are proud to be the premier provider of pre- and post-operative care for kidney transplant in San Antonio. Our board-certified doctors won’t settle for being anything less than the very best nephrologists. This is how we consistently provide optimal treatment outcomes for your highest possible quality of life.
To learn more or schedule an appointment, call 210-212-8622 or click here to use our online form.