A kidney transplant allows you to reclaim your health, energy, and time because you no longer need to spend hours in dialysis. The expert team at Southern Kidney Specialists, with offices throughout Middle Tennessee, perform testing to determine if you’re a good transplant candidate, help you find a kidney, and provide comprehensive care to protect your health before, during, and after a transplant. To learn more about transplantation, call the nearest office or book an appointment online today.
A kidney transplant — placing a healthy donor kidney into your body — restores your health after your own kidneys stop working. However, not everyone is a good candidate for a transplant.
You go through a series of tests to ensure you’re a good candidate. You have blood tests to make sure you’re healthy enough for surgery and to verify you don’t have a condition that would increase the risk of rejecting the transplant.
You also have mental health evaluations to determine if you’re prepared to care for a transplanted kidney. Most people don’t realize they must follow a strict medication regimen after the transplant to prevent organ rejection.
After the team at Southern Kidney Specialists determines you’re a good candidate, you decide how you want to receive your new kidney. Your options include:
Most people get their kidney transplant from a person who has died and donated their organs. However, there’s a waiting list for donor transplants, and it takes at least 3-5 years before a kidney is available.
Anyone who has two healthy kidneys and a blood type that’s compatible with you can donate one of their kidneys. That is often the fastest way to get a transplant if you have a family member or friend who is willing to donate.
If you have a living donor, you can ask your provider to transplant the kidney before you need dialysis, a procedure called a preemptive transplant. Preemptive transplants lower your risk of rejecting the kidney and prevent complications caused by end-stage kidney disease.
If you have a donor, but your blood types aren’t compatible, you may be able to find another incompatible pair (another kidney patient with an incompatible living donor) and switch the kidneys. That works when your donor’s kidney is a good match for the other patient, and you’re compatible with their donor.
To transplant the kidney, your Southern Kidney Specialists provider makes an incision in your lower abdomen, secures the new kidney in place, and connects it to the blood supply and ureter. In most cases, they leave the old kidney in place.
To learn more about kidney transplants, call Southern Kidney Specialists or book an appointment online today.