A kidney transplant is the treatment that often provides the best quality of life.
It is essential to point out that transplantation is not a cure for chronic kidney disease; it is only a treatment. You will still need lifelong medication. But, for many, a kidney transplantation will provide a higher degree of independence and allow them to live a more ordinary life. If you have type I diabetes as well as kidney failure, it might be possible to transplant both a pancreas and kidney, to restore kidney function and treat your diabetes. Your doctor will assess you to determine your suitability for a combined kidney/pancreas transplant.
Transplantation and suitability
Not everyone is suitable and fit for a kidney transplant. You might have another disease that makes transplantation too complicated and risky. When a kidney becomes available, it must match your characteristics. The more similar the donor is in certain characteristics, the higher the chance of long-term transplant success. In general terms, a transplant from a living donor who is related to you gives the best results.
If you are suitable for transplantation, your medical team and other specialists will help you understand what kidney transplantation is all about. There are some risks connected with kidney transplantations. If you are a candidate for receiving a kidney transplant, you will, therefore, undergo extensive testing to ensure that you are suitable for transplantation. The characteristics of your immune system have to be studied carefully. Also, you must be in good physical condition. When you are on the waiting list for a transplant, you must follow a strict regimen when it comes to diet, medication, and general lifestyle. You are at a higher risk of having infections and other diseases than healthy people.
Shortage of organs
Kidneys for transplant can come from living donors who are related to you or from non-related persons such as spouses or close friends. In some countries, they may also come from unknown donors who are still alive and want to make a generous donation. Many come from people who have died. In general terms, there is a shortage of organs for transplantation. You may have to wait for months or even years before getting a transplant. Your medical team will give you all the necessary information about regulations and waiting lists.
A major operation
Transplant surgery is a significant operation. It means that you have to stay in the hospital for 4-7 days. After the operation, you have to take medicines for the rest of your life to prevent the kidney from being rejected. This has to be monitored closely by your medical team. After transplantation, you will have to make regular visits to your medical team for monitoring and tests.
Learn from experience
Kidney transplantation will bring changes to your life. You may find it beneficial to discuss your concerns with someone who has undergone kidney transplantation. Your medical team will be able to put you in contact with someone to talk with.