If you’re one of the approximately 661,000 Americans living with kidney failure (also known as end-stage renal disease), you may have come to an important decision point: whether or not you should get a kidney transplant.
Getting a kidney transplant is a major decision. It proves prudent to have your urologist evaluate your overall health to ascertain your eligibility for the procedure. A good urologist will make sure to provide you with adequate information about kidney transplant—most notably its benefits, risks, and contraindications—and help you make a well-informed decision.
Benefits of Kidney Transplant
Albeit not a guarantee, successful kidney transplants are associated with considerable benefits, such as the following:
- Freedom from diet and medication restrictions and the hassles associated with getting frequent dialyses
- Better overall health and greater life expectancy
- More energy, fewer infections, and normal renal (kidney) function
People who experience end-stage renal disease typically have long-standing diabetes, high blood pressure, polycystic kidney disease, and internal scarring of both kidneys. Accordingly, the renal failure patient needs a fresh start to be able to enjoy a good quality of life—which they can achieve by having their damaged or nonfunctioning kidney replaced.
Kidney transplantation carries a potential risk of significant complications, which include those directly associated with the surgery itself. Although not common, the following are some of the possible complications that may occur after a kidney transplantation procedure.
- Blockage or leaking in the tube (ureter) that links the kidney to the bladder
- Blood clots
- Donor-derived disease transmission
- Failure or rejection of the donated kidney
- Heart attack
- Profuse bleeding
Your doctor will take a full medical history, do a complete physical examination, and check for any existing infections. Likely, you will be required to get an EKG, a chest x-ray, and a battery of other tests that your physician deems necessary.
If you have any of the following conditions, you may not be eligible for a kidney transplant:
- Active infection
- Any disease that may limit your lifespan to just a few more years
- Cancer (under active treatment)
- Heart disease or congestive heart failure (CHF)
- Multisystem disease
- Serious pulmonary disease (COPD)
- Very advanced age
Where a Donor Kidney Comes From
Donor kidneys can come from friends, relatives, the national donor registry, or cadavers. Most live-donor kidneys are successfully transplanted and function extremely well, so do kidneys from deceased donors, although with somewhat lower overall success rates.
Urologist in Scottsdale, AZ
At Ironwood Urology, Dr. Desiderio Avila Jr. is well-known for his expertise in the diagnosis and treatment of the full spectrum of diseases that affect the urinary system, such as kidney diseases and kidney failure.
Learn more about kidney transplantation and whether it is right for you through an informative consultation with Dr. Avila, Jr. To arrange an appointment with Dr. Desiderio Avila, Jr, call Ironwood Urology office at (480) 961-2323 or fill out our online appointment request form.