Kidney Transplant: What You Need to Know
A kidney transplant is a surgical procedure in which a healthy kidney from a living or deceased donor is placed into a person whose kidneys no longer function properly. Kidney (renal) diseases are the ninth leading cause of death in the United States. Risk factors for this disease include diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, and family history of chronic kidney disease (CKD). The kidneys are two bean-shaped organs that have the primary function of filtering and removing waste, minerals, and fluid from the body by producing urine. When the kidneys lose this ability, harmful waste and fluid levels accumulate in the body and can result in kidney failure.
A kidney transplant is one treatment choice for kidney failure. While many people chose to undergo dialysis as a long-term treatment option, it is not an ideal solution. Kidney dialysis requires a massive commitment to your time and life. It is not a one-time procedure but must be performed multiple times a week for the rest of your life. This is why a kidney transplant is typically viewed as the ultimate option to treat CKD.
Before undergoing a kidney transplant, patients must meet the requirements to determine that they are healthy enough to endure a major operation. If they are deemed good candidates for transplant surgery, they are placed on a national waiting list. Patients will most-likely need to continue dialysis during the waiting period, which averages two years.
Only one donated kidney is needed to replace two failed kidneys. This makes living-donor kidney transplantation an option. During the surgical procedure, an incision will be made in the lower part of one side of the abdomen. The new kidney will be placed into the body, and blood vessels of the new kidney are attached to blood vessels in the lower part of the abdomen. The new kidney’s ureter will be attached to the bladder. Patients will recover for several days in the hospital to be monitored and watched for signs of complication. The main goal is to make sure that the kidney makes urine like the original kidneys did when they were healthy.
Kidney transplant recipients will need to take mediation for the rest of their lives. Drugs called immunosuppressants help keep the immune system from attacking and rejecting the new kidney.
Kidney transplants are a life-changing surgical procedure that advances the life of a patient’s suffering from kidney failure to end-stage renal disease. As a well-known vascular and endovascular surgeon in New York City, Dr. Benvenisty holds extensive kidney and renal transplant surgery expertise.
Contact our practice today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Benvenisty.
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