Kidney failure happens due to high cholesterol and uncontrolled blood sugar. The only remedy for a damaged kidney is surgery. In kidney transplant, a healthy kidney from a family member who passed away will function in the place of the damaged kidney of the patient. We call this process as renal transplantation.
Even in India, where the medical treatment costs are comparatively low (it is only one eighth to one tenth of that in the US), the costs can be prohibitively high for a person hailing from the middle-class family. The kidney transplant cost in India is about Rs2 lakh.
Work of the kidney
The kidney is an essential organ that is bean shaped. It separates the urea, mineral salts, and toxins from the blood. They also conserve the salts, electrolytes, and water. Though every person has two kidneys, it is possible for a person to survive on one kidney since each of the kidneys has lots of renal tissue.
When your kidney fails, it does not stop the toxins from entering the blood. The levels of toxins in the blood build up. Now, the patient has to opt for one of these – go for a dialysis where you filter the blood using an external dialysis machine, or get a new kidney.
Symptoms of kidney failure
Since the kidney work so well, they make up for any initial shortcomings well and one does not notice anything amiss, that is until the damage has spread. The usual symptoms of this ailment are as follows:
- Pale skin
- Pain in muscle, joint, and chest
- Bleeding due to faulty clotting
- Rapid heart rate
- Shortness of breath (accumulation of fluid in the lungs)
- Loss of appetite
- Urinary problems
- Feeling of thirst
- Puffiness in arms and legs
- Bone pain
- Easy bruising
Kidney failure occurs due to one or more causes. Acute kidney failure could occur due to one of these causes:
- Internal bleeding
- Acute nephritis
- Heart attack
- Heat exhaustion
- Urinary obstruction
- Acute pancreatitis
Chronic kidney failure happens when the patient undergoes one of the following conditions:
- Urinary stones
- Polycystic kidney disease
- Urinary tumour
- Chronic nephritis
Types of procedures to remove the kidney
They remove the healthy kidney meant to substitute a damaged one from the body of the donor in one of the two methods.
- Laparoscopic Nephrectomy: Here, the surgeon will make a couple of incisions in the abdomen of the donor. These incisions are a couple of inches long. Through these, he introduces the instruments needed to cut the kidney. He uses a camera that helps him complete the procedure.
- Open Nephrectomy: This is the normal process, where surgeon cuts open the abdomen and removes the kidney. This incision is 10 inches long.
The patient must check in for the kidney transplant at the appointed time. He or she must follow the rules laid down by the hospital including diet and sleep.
Preparing for surgery
Keeping in mind the kidney transplant surgery cost in India and the painful death that follows when you damage the kidney, one must take use precautionary measures.