In the human body, kidneys are located below the rib cage, on either side of the spine. The main function of the kidneys is to filter and remove minerals, waste and fluids from the body through the production of urine. In case the kidneys stop this function, the levels of harmful waste and fluids in your body start increasing. This rise in level can raise one’s blood pressure and can result in kidney failure or end-stage renal disease. The most common causes of end stage renal disease are:
- Chronic and uncontrolled high blood pressure
- Chronic glomerulonephritis
- Polycystic kidney disease
People suffering from end-stage renal disease need to go through regular dialysis to have the waste removed from their body, or they can opt for a kidney transplant. A kidney transplant is a surgical procedure in which a healthy kidney from a deceased or live donor is placed into a person whose kidneys have lost more than 90% of their function.
Why is it done?
For patients who suffer from end stage renal disease, the options are to either go through a lifetime of dialysis or to opt for a kidney transplant. Compared to a lot of dialysis throughout your life, a kidney transplant offers the following benefits:
- Better quality of life
- Lower risk of death
- Fewer dietary restrictions
- Lower treatment cost
The complications that may arise with a kidney transplant are:
- Death, heart attack and stroke
- Blood clots
- Leaking from or blockage of the ureter
- Rejection of the donated kidney
- Failure of the donated kidney
- An infection or cancer that can be transmitted with the donated kidney
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