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Posted on Feb 6, 2024 | By Dr. Air Cmde Gurwinder Singh Sethi

Kidney Transplantation: Facts and Myths

Kidney transplants are a life-saving procedure for those suffering from end-stage renal diseases. It allows them to live long and healthy life. If you or someone close to you are thinking about a kidney transplant surgery, there are some myths and facts related to it. This blog will walk you through all you must know about organ transplants.


Q) When is a kidney transplant needed?

Ans: Patients whose kidneys have permanently failed with irreversible damage are termed to have chronic kidney disease (CKD) stage 5 or End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD). Treatment options for kidney failure include lifetime dialysis or kidney transplantation. Whenever feasible, kidney transplantation is recommended as the treatment of choice for such patients.

Q) What is the ideal timing of kidney transplantation?

Ans: International guidelines recommend starting workup when kidney function falls below 20%. People who get kidney transplantation done before starting dialysis (called Pre-emptive transplantation) tend to do better.     

Q) Why is kidney transplantation better than staying on dialysis?

Ans: People who get a kidney transplant generally live longer and lead a healthier life. It helps avoid side effects of dialysis and leads to a better quality of living. Kidney transplant recipients have fewer dietary and lifestyle restrictions. Moreover, the cost of kidney transplantation in Delhi/NCR is much less compared to the cost of dialysis that lasts for a lifetime.

Q) Can a kidney transplant be performed if blood groups do not match?

Ans: Yes, it can still be performed. It is called ABO incompatible kidney transplantation. Patients need an extra procedure called plasmapheresis or immunoadsorption to clean the antibodies from the blood. Expert team of urologists and nephrologists at Paras Hospital, Panchkula is well trained to handle such cases.

Q) Is donating one of the two kidneys safe for the donor?

Ans: Yes. Kidney donation is overall a safe procedure. While minor complications can happen like in any surgery, most donors continue to do well. Data from research says risk of developing kidney failure after donation is approx 1 in 1000.

Q) Can a diabetic patient get kidney transplant?

Ans: Yes, Diabetes is the most common cause of kidney failure in most parts of the world. Diabetes is not a contraindication to transplantation.

Q) What are the risks associated with getting a kidney transplant?

Ans: Kidney transplantation is a major surgery and like any other procedure risks include complications of anesthesia, bleeding, infection etc. Medicines called immunosuppressants may lead to an overall higher rate of infections in the long run like urinary tract infections, pneumonia or special viral infections.