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Kidney Transplant Surgery

Submitted by Nic on November 19, 2012

Renal transplantation or kidney transplant surgery is a surgical procedure which involves removing a functioning and healthy kidney from a brain-dead or living donor and implanting it into a person whose kidneys are nonfunctioning. A kidney transplant surgery is performed on patients suffering from ESRD (end-stage renal disease) or chronic kidney failure.

The kidney transplant surgery time is approximately three to four hours. This is because the procedure involves a number of steps. The first step in the kidney transplant surgery procedure involves placing the new kidney on the left or lower right side of the patient's abdomen. The kidney is then surgically attached to the patient's bladder and blood vessels. Once these kidney transplant surgery steps are complete, the doctors allow the flow of blood through the kidney once again. Care is also taken to attach the ureter of the new kidney to the bladder so as to allow urine to be flushed out of the body.

In most kidney transplant surgery cases it is found that the new kidney soon starts producing urine, as it starts functioning immediately. It is seen that living donor kidneys generally take about three to five days to get to normal levels of functioning while deceased-donor kidneys take about seven to fifteen days.

Kidney transplant surgery patients can get back to their previous activities as soon as they start feeling better. During the kidney transplant surgery recovery period, which is around six to eight weeks after surgery, the patient should avoid any kind of strenuous work and avoid lifting or carrying heavy objects. They should avoid driving during this period. Exercises such as hiking, jogging, tennis, bicycling, aerobics, and swimming are extremely important as they help patients regain their strength. It is important that one checks with their kidney transplant surgeon before going in for any kind of the mentioned activities.

Kidney transplant surgery risks are the same as those seen in any other surgery. There are risks of infection, bleeding, or breathing problems. Some patients might also experience certain side effects from the medications. There could also be chances of the patient's body rejecting the new kidney. However, this rarely happens, as doctors give certain medicines to prevent rejection. A kidney transplant surgery gives the patient increased stamina, strength, and energy. He/she is able to get back to a normal lifestyle. Those dependent on dialysis are no longer bound by their daily schedules and have more freedom. Patients suffering from high blood pressure (hypertension) usually find that they need to take fewer medications after the kidney transplant surgery.

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