Kidney Transplant India

What is the function of Kidneys?

Kidneys are a pair of organs whose main function is filtration of the blood and removal of toxins and wastes from it. They are bean shaped organs (remember “Kidney Beans”, the name comes from the shape of Kidneys) which are found around either flanks in the abdomen. Each normal sized Kidney is no more than size of a computer mouse or cell phone. Kidneys are one of the vital organs of the body (a “vital organ” is one whose malfunction will lead to imminent death if the function of that organ is not supported otherwise). Apart from filtration of blood, Kidneys are responsible for maintaining balance of body fluids, pH balancing, formation of urine and aid in other important functions like maintaining blood pressure, red blood cell production via erythropoietin and contributing to Vitamin D metabolism.

Interestingly, exactly half of one Kidney is capable of performing the functions that are undertaken by two normal Kidneys together. In a single hour, each Kidney receives a whooping 120 pints of blood! The entire blood present in a body is circulated around 400 times and filtered through the Kidneys in a day.

What are the symptoms of Kidney Disease?

Most people with Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) live out their lives without ever reaching kidney failure. People with advanced (Stage 3) Chronic Kidney Disease have about an 80% chance of never having their kidneys fail.

Like many other diseases of the body, Kidney Disease often may produce no symptoms, at least not initially but a person suffering from Kidney disease and Kidney malfunction may experience the following:

Changes in Urination – Increase or Decrease in frequency of micturition; Urine appears foamy or frothy; discoloration of urine including blood in urine; difficulty in urinating

Swelling – excessive water retention as kidney is not able to remove extra fluids shows as puffiness under the eyes or swelling of the legs, ankles, feet and even the hands

Fatigue, Inability to concentrate and or Shortness of breath – due to onset of Anemia (reduced hemoglobin and red blood cells), one starts complaining of weakness, fatigability and inability to concentrate. Further, due to anemia and also fluid collection around the lungs (usually happens in advanced kidney disease) one may complain of difficulty in breathing

Skin Rash / Itching – due to build-up of toxins and wastes one starts complaining of severe itching. One also starts complaining of dry, scaly and itchy skin with generalized body rash

Nausea, Vomiting, Metallic taste in mouth and or Ammonia breath – A pile up of large amounts of toxins and wastes in the bloodstream (known as Uremia) can cause Nausea and vomiting. Further, the same can also lead to Loss of Appetite and Unexplained Weight Loss.

Other uncommon symptoms could be the following:This is advised for patients who experience pain after usual daily activities, pain that interrupts sleep, difficulty in bending knees, and changes in the appearance of the knee. Over 90 percent of the people who undergo TKR experience a drastic improvement in knee pain and function.

  • Frequent Muscle Cramps
  • Feeling Cold and chills in otherwise warm environment
  • Dizziness
  • Flank or Leg pain
  • Frequent infections and or fever

What is End Stage Kidney Disease (ESRD)?

Renal failure, also known as kidney failure or renal insufficiency, is a condition where the kidneys fail to function. The Kidney failure may happen over days to weeks known as Acute Kidney Failure or over a period of weeks to months known as Chronic Kidney Failure or Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD).

A diagnosis of End Stage Kidney Disease means that the person is in the final stage of chronic kidney disease and the kidneys are not functioning well enough to meet the needs of daily life. End Stage Kidney Disease (ESRD) is when the Kidneys stop working (functioning below 10 per cent of their normal functioning) and one needs dialysis or a transplant to live. This kind of kidney failure is permanent. It cannot be reversed or cured. Most common cause of ESRD are diabetes or high blood pressure.

What are the treatment options available for End Stage Kidney Disease (ESRD)?

The mainstay of clinical management or treatment of End Stage Kidney Disease (ESRD) or Kidney Failure are either Dialysis or Kidney Transplant. There is no cure for ESRD, but many people live long lives while having dialysis or after having a kidney transplant. The quality of life is far superior with Kidney Transplant than with Dialysis.

What are the types of Dialysis?

Dialysis is a treatment modality for Chronic Kidney Disease or End Stage Kidney Disease and is essentially of two types, namely Hemodialysis and Peritoneal Dialysis.

Hemodialysis is a type of dialysis that uses a special filter to cleanse the blood. During a dialysis procedure, the blood is passed through the arterio-venous fistula and in to the Dialysis machine which is also known as Artificial Dialysis Machine. The dialysis machine has a set of filters and a dialysate fluid. The filtered blood is then returned back to the body through the tubes and via the A-V fistula. Typically, dialysis is required 3 times per week and each session lasts between 2 to 4 hours.

In Peritoneal Dialysis (PD), the inside lining of the person’s belly (peritoneal cavity) acts as a natural filter. Wastes are taken out by means of a cleansing fluid called dialysate, which is washed in and out of the belly in cycles. Peritoneal Dialysis does not completely compensate for all normal kidney functions. For example, it does not replace the hormones produced by the normal kidney.

What is Kidney Transplant in India?

Kidney Transplant is a complex operation where the healthy kidney from one person (known as the Donor) is removed, transferred and placed in a person whose Kidneys are not functioning (known as the Recipient).

Kidney transplant is essentially of two types deceased-donor transplant (formerly known as cadaveric) or living-donor transplant depending on the source of the donor organ. In Deceased Donor Transplant, there is a huge waiting period and sometimes the patients succumb to the disease before getting a Kidney. Living Donor is more complex than Deceased Donor but in India, the surgeon especially in Northern part of India have mastered this surgery and are known as the leaders in Living Donor transplants the World. There success rate of the transplants succeeds those of their US and UK counterparts. In a Living Donor transplant there is no waiting time and success rates are higher than in deceased donor transplant, especially if the donor is a first degree blood relative. The success is maximum with a sibling donor.

What are the advantages of Kidney Transplant over Dialysis?

Most patients believe that Dialysis is a permanent solution and one can live forever on this therapy. While, dialysis is lifesaving but it compensates for only 10% of Kidney function, which is not at all sufficient for long-term sustenance. Further, it has its own set of complications and side effects which include:

  • Anemia (a shortage of red blood cells, which diminishes oxygen and saps energy and strength)
  • Bone disease
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Heart Disease
  • Nerve Damage
  • Infection

As a result, the average life expectancy for a patient on dialysis is generally five years.

On the other hand, after a transplant, there are a number of advantages such as:

Increased life expectancy – Clinical research has shown patients who receive a kidney transplant typically live longer than those who stay on dialysis and a Living Donor kidney functions far longer than a deceased donor kidney. Further, research shows that getting a transplant sooner rather than later is generally the best approach because of the health problems dialysis can cause over time.

Better Quality of Life – Kidney transplant leads to a longer and more satisfying life. Patients after a transplant report having more energy, a less restricted diet, and fewer complications then patients on dialysis. Transplant patients also have a shorter recovery period and less absenteeism compared to dialysis patients.

How is Kidney Transplant in India different from Kidney Transplant in Singapore or Kidney Transplant in Thailand or Kidney Transplant in Korea?

First and most importantly, India boasts of the highest number of Solid organ transplants (which includes Liver, Kidney, Heart and Pancreas) in the World. The clinical outcomes with most of these organ transplant programs in India are either at par with the World’s best outcomes or better than them.

Another important advantage that Kidney Transplants in India have is the Cost Advantage. In South Korea one would spend 27.7 times more on Healthcare than in India. In a similar comparison, one would spend 39.5 times more in Singapore and 5 times more in Thailand. With at par and at times superior clinical outcomes, it is short of foolish to choose these other countries over India for Liver Transplant and Kidney Transplant.

Lastly and most importantly, India has the most skilled and most experienced transplant surgeons when it comes to Live Donor Transplant (which is far superior and more complex than Deceased Donor Transplant) and one doesn’t need to wait in queues of organ registry for Live Donor Transplant and results in a longer post-transplant life. So without doubt one should choose India as their destination for liver and kidney transplantation.

What are the advantages of getting a transplant done through MedMonks?

MedMonks helps patients choose amongst the best and most experienced Transplant Surgeons with the most cost effective transplant packages. As Kidney Transplants in India are governed by the The Transplantation of Human Organs Act, 1994 and its amendment in 2008, we help all our clients go through this process smoothly and without any surprises which are very common if one is unaware and inexperienced.

We have been part of a number of Transplant Authorization Committees and know what are the requirements as well as precautions we need to take including complete documentation which ensures our clients get timely clearance and have a comfortable experience.

Further, MedMonks gives a number of advantages to its patrons including:

  • 24x7 Support
  • Associated with only Verified & Accredited Hospitals
  • Leading & Highly Experienced Doctors on Panel
  • Transparent Process
  • Travel Desk assisting in Visa, Airline Tickets, Hotel Bookings etc.
  • Personalized Services like interpreter, forex, on-ground logistics and treatment/ intra-hospital coordination
  • Health Insurance and Medico-legal advice

What is the process of Kidney Transplant in India?

The process starts in the home country itself, with choosing potential donors and if possible getting their basic screening done which includes blood profile, blood grouping, kidney function test and urine tests.

It is ideal to choose between 2-3 potential donors as last minute rejection of candidate by Transplant team should not lead to process breakdown. Further these potential donors should be blood relatives like siblings, parents or children (above 18 years of age) or the spouse.

Following this a set of documents are to be prepared which would require visits to your local governing bodies, your embassies etc. Apply for Medical Visa (Med) and your one potential donor will have to apply for Medical Attendant Visa (Med-X).

Upon arrival in India, the patient and medical attendants undergo a series of tests and diagnostics to determine donor match and pre-transplant workup. DNA HLA match is also conducted for the Authorization Committee for related cases (if spouse is the donor, then a child/ issue also needs to be brought along for this testing).

The Authorization committee generally reviews the case within one week of arrival and the results are available within 24 hours of the review. The surgery is generally planned as soon as possible. The stay within the hospital for donor is about 4-5 days and patient is around 8-10 days.

They stay in India for another 10 days for review and follow-up and can fly back after that.

We at MedMonks also ensure post treatment long-term follow-ups for patients in their home country through local clinics and tele-medicine.

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