Kidney Transplant in Singapore
A kidney transplant or a renal transplant is basically a surgical process where the kidney of a donor (the person who is willing to donate a kidney) is removed and replaced into the body of the recipient (patient suffering from renal failure). After the transplant the kidney starts performing the functions which were otherwise not being performed by the patient's own kidney.
There are a number of diagnostics centers and clinics in Singapore who take care of the patients suffering from renal failure in a comprehensive and holistic manner. There are several patients from different parts of the world, who are willing to come over Singapore to get a new life through the kidney transplant surgery.
Why is a Kidney Transplant performed?
Kidney transplant is done when there is no other way to retain the normal functioning of the kidney of the patient. When a patient is suffering from renal failure, the kidneys are unable to filter harmful waste products and the excess waste in turn starts to deposit in the blood, the patient suffers from Uremia. Uremia is the excessive accumulation of renal waste in the blood.
Now the patient whose own kidneys have stopped working has to undergo two fledged treatments:
1. Dialysis: In this process the dangerous waste products from blood are removed with proper medical treatments.
2. Kidney transplantation
The patients suffering from permanent renal failure potentially need their kidney replaced. It is all about the condition of the patient which determines whether the patient needs kidney transplant or lifelong dialysis. The factors that influence are age, availability of family donors and also most importantly the antibodies present in the patient’s body (one of the reasons of common kidney failure). Apart from all these, Heart disease, cancer etc. are a few more reasons which increases the the need for a kidney transplant.
How is a kidney transplant procedure performed?
Firstly, a donated kidney is needed to replace the failed kidney to its proper working state. There are three major sources of potential kidney donors:
- Living related donors: Close relatives of the patient. Eg., parents, siblings, children, grandparents are the most potential donors. A normal individual has two kidneys and a person can easily live in good health with one kidney, without any complications. Kidney donation does not harm the physical strength or the life-style of the donor.
- Cadaver donors: A cadaver kidney is available from the individual who has been declared as brain-dead. For example, a person who expired due to an accident or stroke, the reason must be non-kidney related. In several of the cases the cadaver kidney may not be a feasible candidate for the transplantation, as firstly all the pre-screening criteria should match with the patient. In case of an unsuccessful match, the patient would have to wait further.
- Unrelated kidney donors: Unrelated donor kidney transplantation is considered when the other options are not working out or the other types of donors are unfit for the procedure. In this case the chances of a rejection is much higher and meanwhile expensive medicines like Cyclosporin-A, ATG, etc. have to be taken for better functioning of the replaced kidney. Our partner hospitals cannot help arrange for donors.
Once a donated kidney is available the healthy kidney is removed and transported to saline water which preserves the kidney for around 48 hours. After all the possible evaluations and the tests, the surgery is performed with proper care.
For a living kidney donor, prior to the surgery the donor is put under general anesthesia. As it deals with a long process of surgical incisions. However these days surgeons prefer laparoscopic techniques i.e. the mini-surgical cut.
Patients receiving their kidney transplant are also administered general anesthesia before the surgical process. The surgeon inserts a new healthy kidney inside the lower belly of the patient. The arteries and the veins of the new kidney are connected to the pelvis so that the blood flows properly through the new kidney.
The whole process takes about three long hours to complete. The patients having diabetes need to get a pancreas replacement as well. This prolongs the total process by three more hours.
Before and after the kidney transplant surgery:
Before a physician refers someone for a kidney transplant they will definitely make sure that the patient is the right candidate for the transplant. There will be plethora of tests to be done before the operation. Frequent checkups should be done in a regular intervals. The patient would have to undergo several of the tests including:
Once the kidney transplant team considers a patient good for the transplantation they put his/her name in the national waiting list. This is based on several factors like severity of the disease, possible risks during the transplant and others. During the observation period one needs to undergo strict schedule and several of the restrictions and protocols.
- Blood and tissue tests to make sure that the patient's body will get the hold of the new organ.
- Checkups for the possible infections
- Heart tests: EKG, echocardiogram, cardiac catheterization
- Cancer test
Once the transplantation is performed the patient needs to stay in the hospital for the regular diagnosis with the regular follow-ups by the doctor . One would even need to get his blood tested on a regular basis at least for 1-2 months. The average recovery period is about 6 months. The patient needs to get regular blood test and x-rays done for next few years even after the recovery. One can get world class treatments like the kidney transplant in several of the hospitals in Singapore, performed by well qualified and professional doctors trained in UK and USA.
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