Kidney Transplant

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Kidney transplantation is the best treatment available for end stage renal disease. When the kidney becomes irreversibly damaged, e.g. by high sugar concentrations within the blood, waste products from the cells of the body begin to accumulate. These waste products can cause serious medical problems if not removed, and unfortunately the kidneys cannot repair themselves. Once this stage has been reached, the best treatment that can be given is a kidney transplant. There are 2 main types of transplantation that are available. These are either living donation, i.e. a kidney is taken from a healthy living donor and put into the recipient, or cadaveric transplantation, when a kidney is taken from an individual who has just died. In some cases is is not advisable that surgery is undertaken, these include tobacco smoking and morbid obesity together, as they increase the risk of problems during surgery.

Having a kidney transplant can prolong the life of the recipient from anything up to 15 years past that of someone on dialysis. Throughout this time the recipient will need to take drugs to prevent their immune system from destroying the graft, which can lead them to be more prone to illness than the general public.