Categories
Addiction Recovery Life Transitions Loss Organ Transplant Pre & Post Surgical

Quick Look at Kidney Transplants

The Quick Look at Kidney Transplants

The kidneys are a fundamental element of our excretory system. The two bean-shaped kidneys play a very critical role in the human body. They are responsible for filtering out the blood and other body fluids. In this way, they ensure the release of waste that we don’t need and that can actually be harmful to hold on to. But when serious problems arise, a kidney transplant may be needed. And that can be a bit scary and overwhelming. You don’t have to go it alone. Below you will find a quick look at kidney transplants and a few ways we end up getting there.

There are several sorts of kidney problems that can occur. You might experience a kidney stone, swelling or deterioration. All of these kidney problems can halt those “exit” functions. For example, if the kidney becomes unable to filter blood, then the wastes accumulate within different body parts, causing numerous issues like high blood pressure. When approximately 90% of a kidney stops filtering and excreting, it results in kidney failure. 

Kidney transplantation is a life-saving procedure – and more frequent than you might think. It can be a solution for  kidney failure and other conditions requiring the removal of one or both kidneys.

In the initial stages, kidney “wash through” machines and dialysis might work. However, in severe kidney failure, the likely option is a kidney transplant. 

Although a human body can survive on one kidney, more health compromised people need another. And people with other medical ailments or second kidney failure will have to rely on an outsourced kidney; a kidney transplant. 

Causes of Kidney Failure 

Despite occurring naturally as we age, a few other factors can also cause kidney failure. Individuals having diabetes are more prone to kidney problems. Chronic or uncontrolled blood pressure levels also add to kidney damage. (the consistent inflammation can affect the filtering process). Unchecked, these all eventually lead you towards severe kidney failure. Increasing the chance that you will end up needing a kidney transplant.

Dialysis Vs. Kidney Transplant

With failed kidney, there can be two available options. First, you can go for dialysis, which is a machine-assisted excretion treatment and requires regular treatments for a lifetime. Second, you can seek ti have a kidney transplant. 

No doubt, a kidney transplant can seem scarier than dialysis. When is surgery not scarier? But it can be effective in the long term and raise the improvement and quality of life. With dialysis, a person has to continue undergoing the same procedure again and again. There is no point at which you recover -it’s an ongoing treatment process. It is because dialysis is a more of a maintenance procedure rather than a fixed point treatment. 

A kidney transplant, on the other hand, is a distinct and hopefully one-time procedure. Once you have a matched donor, undergone surgery and completed your recovery your health status, ideally, you should be improved. That is why a kidney transplant is often a preferable choice. 

Some people are afraid of surgery or getting rejected during kidney transplants. And let’s be very clear, you need to be willing to care for the new kidney and the recovery has a lot requirements and continued success depends on your ability to make a lot of lifestyle changes and keep them. Many people are ready to promise anything in the face of a serious medical condition – the reality is, with a transplant you are already very lucky to get a new organ to begin with – you need to be serious in your commitment. It’s rare enough to get a great match, you aren’t likely to get another one. 

In the end, it’s up to the patient and their physician to determine what is the best path for them.

Why Choose a Kidney Transplant?

When compared to dialysis, a kidney transplant can be preferable because of the following reasons;

• Low Treatment Cost – It is one-time, whereas dialysis will continue to cost for a lifetime. 

• Better Quality of Life –It gives you the opportunity to live the rest of your life in a better state of health – for many, this means in peace and comfort.

• Fewer Dietary Restrictions –Unlike dialysis patients, there are fewer limitations on what or what not to eat. 

• Lesser Health Risk –Unlike dialysis, it enables you to stay healthy in the long run.

Kidney transplant is not always an option. A few things might restrict you from going for a transplant. It is potentially unsuitable for people with old age, severe heart diseases, cancer, mental illness, alcohol or drug addiction, etc. So, everyone needs to consult with the doctor first, and if it comes under any no-go category, the person will have to continue with dialysis. 

Types of Donors for Kidney Transplant

For a kidney transplant, there can be two types of kidney donors. They are the following; 

1) Living Donor

A human body can rely completely on one healthy kidney for all metabolic activities. That is why a person with two healthy kidneys can donate a kidney to someone else who needs one. However, there are criteria to be met, such as blood group and tissues, to matchto either donate or accept a kidney. 

A kidney donor can be a family member or someone else. It is always preferable to receive a kidney from a blood relation as it lets you avoid the risk of rejection and is usually beneficial. 

2) Deceased Donor

Another way of getting a kidney is from a deceased person. It happens in a way that hospitals usually gather data on people needing a kidney. The hospital is informed immediately whenever a deceased person’s kidney matches the patient. The doctor prepares an instant surgery for a transplant. It is a very time sensitive process because the kidney transplant should take place shortly for a kidney to be valuable. 

Kidney Transplant Procedure 

Kidney transplantation is more or less like other surgical treatments. During a kidney transplant surgery, the doctor injects the anesthetic dose within your blood through an intravenous line in your arm. It is basically to make you fall asleep or for a while to undergo the incision. Once unconscious, the doctor makes an incision to open up your abdominal region. He then puts in the donor’s kidney and connects the arteries and veins to your circulatory system. As the blood starts flowing, the new kidneys function within your body.

Alongside that, your kidneys need a connection to the ureter. It can only then carry on the excretion process smoothly. The doctor connects the newly induced kidney to the ureter and the bladder. 

As far as your original kidneys are concerned, they usually remain inside the body and aren’t disposed of. However, in some cases, when the failed kidney causes trouble, it is removed too. 

Risks of Having a Kidney Transplant

Although a prevailing treatment for severe kidney issues or kidney failure, a kidney transplant is not a full-proof solution. It causes multiple risks either during the transplantation surgery or afterward.

• Rejection of the Donor Organ – While operating, the donated kidney might not be compatible with your body. It is possible to even after undergoing the matching tests and everything else. So, there is definitely risk, even beyond the ones typical of surgery. 

• Kidney Diseases –The transplantation, although it eradicates the ailment, for the time being, there are chances of the patient regaining a mild or severe ailment. 

• Side-effects –Undergoing the surgery can cause you side effects. It will leave an incision mark and temporarily cause redness, swelling, and pain. 

None of the above three risks is unpreventable. Almost every doctor provides medication to minimize donor rejection, kidney diseases and surgical side effects. And there is a lot that you can do to help or hinder your own success.

Postoperative Possible Complications of  Kidney Transplant

• Infection – Minor infections like urinary tract infections, colds, and flu are common after kidney transplants. However, in most severe conditions, pneumonia or CMV (cytomegalovirus) infection may occur.

• Blood clots –  The most common complication after a kidney transplant is the development of blood clots in the arteries connected to the donated kidney. In some cases, medications can be used to dissolve the blood clots.

• Urine leakage –  Sometimes, after a kidney transplant, urine may leak through the connection between the ureter and bladder. This usually happens during the first-month post-kidney transplant.

Conclusion 

Opting for a kidney transplant requires you to think twice before jumping in. It ultimately, is up to you because you must live with both the benefits, risks and lifestyle changes required of the transplant. You must be brave enough to analyze the situation and make a decision. 

Facing this decision and the life changes and commitment it requires can be extremely stressful. And not just on you, but also on your loved ones whose life will also change in the process. You both may feel worried about you undergoing surgery, fear of rejection or other complications. It marks a transition period in your life and theirs – and that is stressful all around. Be gracious and kind to yourself and each other. Stress directly impacts health, so consider working with a professional counselor who is experienced at working with transplant patients and their loved ones.

Do exercise, eat healthy, engage in positive activities, and take good care of yourself before and after the kidney transplant. And obviously, alcohol and other drugs will only damage your chances and your new kidney – you need to leave those behind. Change your lifestyle so you can spend your life in style.

References

1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK567755/

2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK553074/

3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7230851/

4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5549004/

5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6716102/

6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8711553/

Categories
Uncategorized

5 Tips on How to Stay Calm Before Organ Transplant Surgery

Having any kind of surgery can be stressful for a person. It’s normal to feel a little nervous. But, being able to stay calm before organ transplant surgery can make the entire experience easier and less stressful.

As far as surgeries go, organ transplant surgery isn’t something to take lightly. It’s important to fully understand why you need the surgery and how it will benefit you in order to be at peace with it.

Surgery anxiety is a very real thing. If you’re feeling symptoms like nausea, irregular heartbeat, or even problems sleeping in the weeks leading up to your surgery, you could be dealing with a certain type of anxiety.

Thankfully, it’s possible to stay calm before organ transplant surgery. Keep these five tips in mind as your procedure draws near, and you can ease your fear.

1. Educate Yourself

One of the best ways to reduce your fear is to learn as much as you can about your surgery. This is different from going to a search engine and researching things that could go wrong. Instead, educate yourself about the medical condition that makes the surgery necessary.

Focus on the success rates of the surgery rather than possible side effects. Think about how much better you’ll feel once it’s done, and how you can take control of your life once more.

2. Talk with Your Surgeon

Don’t be shy about discussing your fears with your doctor/surgeon, medical social worker, counselor or other resource. Not only can they give you more tips on how to stay calm before organ transplant surgery, but you’ll feel more comfortable simply forming a relationship with them.

When it comes any surgery, if you’ve never met the person performing your procedure, it makes sense that you would find it that much harder to trust them. By getting to know your surgeon ahead of time through a few meetings, you’ll likely be more trusting of them when it comes time to have surgery.

3. Find Support

Family, friends, or even a specific kind of support group can be helpful if you have anxiety leading up to your surgery. You’re not alone in feeling this kind of anxiety. And you don’t have to be alone as you go through it.

If you know someone who has had the same surgery or something similar, talk to them about it. Ask them to share what was hardest and what was easiest about the experience, what little things they wish they had known beforehand to help them and even tell you a funny story or two about it. This is a “big life moment” and these moments are always unique and full of adventure. Talk with someone who has met a similar challenge before and get them to share their stories of inspiration. Or, even just talk to them about the process and take note of how well it turned out for them.

Hearing from people who have been in similar situations, whether helpful logistics or feelings, is often a huge help.

4. Journal Your Thoughts

Another effective way to stay calm before organ transplant surgery is to write down all your anxious thoughts. Keep a journal of how you feel in the weeks leading up to your procedure. This will help you to look closely at the  negative thoughts that creep up over time, see how they change as you talk about them with loved ones and your treatment providers and keep them in perspective as you get closer to the procedure date.

Giving your fears a voice helps to weaken the intensity of those negative and anxious thoughts. Suppressing your fears and secreting them away would only make things harder for you. If you hold all of them in until the night before or the day of your surgery, you could really feel overwhelmed with anxiety and fear.

By writing those fears down, and talking about them with someone who supports you, you’re taking more control. The day of the surgery won’t feel nearly as overwhelming when you have been able to look at those fears, talk about them with friends, family and your physician and even just giving them a voice; speaking them aloud.

5. Consider Patient Counseling

Patient counseling can be a huge help for someone dealing with anxiety before surgery (and even the anxieties that sometimes follow surgery). You can learn techniques to keep yourself calm, all the way up until the moment you go in for surgery.

Talking to a counselor who specializes in this area can also help with those thoughts of fear and anxiety – especially with regards to losing power, even temporarily, over something as intimate as our own bodies. When you get them out in the open, your counselor can guide you on how to deal with them, and how to work through them.

Again, staying calm before organ transplant surgery may not be easy, but it certainly isn’t impossible. If you’re feeling anxious and scared, don’t be ashamed! What you’re experiencing is completely normal. In fact, I’ve been there and experienced my own debilitating illness. I know the courage it takes to face the fear of our own impermanence.

Which, is why I’d like to help you. Talking to a skilled counselor who understands the intense and complicated feelings that accompany medical challenges like the ones you are facing can reap numerous benefits.

Visit here to learn more about how I can help. Or, contact the office today at  (7)-489-3329.