30 September, 2021
Kidney Transplant – Common Myths & Facts about Transplantation
Transplantation is a treatment, not a cure.
A kidney is an organ that filters waste from the blood and other fluids, and thereby removes it from the body in the form of urine. When the kidney stops working, waste builds up in the body. This accumulated waste can cause total kidney failure. People with kidney failure usually undergo a treatment called Dialysis, or a kidney transplant.
Kidney transplantation is organ transplantation, also known as Renal Transplantation. It is a surgical procedure involving the placement of a donor kidney in the recipient’s body. The donor’s kidney is placed in the lower abdominal part in the recipient’s body.
Kidney transplantation is the best treatment to deal with kidney failure. Yet, in our country, the process of kidney transplantation is discredited due to various myths and misconceptions like:
Myth: Kidney transplantation costs are not affordable. They are more expensive as compared to the process of dialysis.
Fact: Dialysis is the process that filters waste from the blood and other fluids using a machine. It can be a life-long procedure for many patients. Conversely, kidney transplantation is a one-time surgical procedure. Granting the fact that a one-time surgical cost of kidney transplant is more affordable than the life-long expense of dialysis.
Myth: Kidney transplantation is the last resort of treatment for renal (kidney) diseases.
Fact: Treatment of renal diseases through dialysis (machinery equipment) involves more risk than a transplant. It is also observed that the process of kidney transplantation is more quick and responsive than dialysis. Therefore, kidney transplantation should be the first option of treatment for renal diseases.
Myth: Most of the kidney transplantation surgeries have failed. The kidney transplant involves a lot of risks.
Fact: Around 95% of kidney transplant surgeries have been successful in our country. Through the passing years, the rate of kidney transplants has increased extremely. The use of advanced technology has helped to lower the risk. The failures are getting close to nil. The process has been successful in improving life structure, in both, quantitative and qualitative manner thereby decreasing the chances of death.
Myth: One can’t get kidney disease or kidney failure after kidney transplantation is done.
Fact: Even after kidney transplants one can develop certain renal diseases. Mainly rejections and progressive scarring are developed. To prevent kidney rejection and inflammation a strict diet and proper medications need to be followed. In such cases consultation of a doctor is important.
Myth: Waiting period in kidney transplantation is longer.
Fact: The waiting period in kidney transplantation depends on the type and compatibility of the donor. Living donation requires less waiting period; as living donors are the family members, first cousins, and colleagues. Hence, they make it possible to get a kidney faster. If a potential living donor is compatible, the surgery can be scheduled when the recipient and donor are ready. Comparatively, the waiting period for a deceased donor is quite longer.
Myth: Anyone can donate a kidney for transplantation.
Fact: The donor and recipient should be ABO blood group compatible. In living donations, only family members like first cousins, nephews, niece, and spouses are allowed to donate. Likewise, in deceased donations compatibility of the donor’s kidney is checked with the recipient’s kidney. After proper tests and medications, the transplantation procedure is carried.
Myth: Donor’s diet structure is restricted.
Fact: Following the diet plan during the surgery is of utmost importance. Once the donor is recovered and healthy, there is no certain need to follow the prescribed diet. Still, in usual terms maintaining a good diet plan is required for stability in the health structure.
Myth: Sex life and pregnancy are affected after the kidney transplant.
Fact: Donating a kidney does not affect any other part or organ of the body. The productive power of the body remains the same. There is no relation between the sex life and the kidney. The possibilities to conceive a baby are natural and not affected. But, before trying to conceive; a wait of 3-6 months post-surgery is necessary.
Lastly, it is important to know the facts about renal transplant and thereby avoid a panic situation.