The kidneys are bean-shaped organs located on opposite sides of the spine in the upper abdominal cavity. They help eliminate waste from blood, balance the body fluids, make urine, and help in other functions of the body. If there is renal failure many of the functions stop working, leading to other complications, multi-organ failure and finally death.
What treatments are available for renal failure?
Dialysis and kidney transplant are two types of treatment for kidney failure.
Dialysis helps in the earlier stages of chronic renal failure but may not be the best long term option. It may help manage the renal failure till a viable kidney is found for transplant.
Kidney transplant is the better option in the long term though there are strict criteria to be followed before an actual renal transplant can be done.
When is renal transplant an option?
Renal failure is progressive and most often renal transplant is essential in time. The reason that people wait for a long time before doing a renal transplant is because:-
• There should be a matching donor
• The donor should be healthy, preferably a family member
• The surgery and aftercare is expensive
• You need approval from the hospital board
So, in whatever stage the renal failure is in, the doctors will have to manage with dialysis and medication and diet, till a kidney is available.
What is an early transplant?
If the patient is lucky and there is a matching donor available, an early transplant, pre-empting end stage kidney failure can be done, bypassing dialysis altogether.
Risk factors in a renal transplant
• There is chance of rejection
• Steroids that are used to suppress the immune system could cause secondary infection
Though the nephrologist will advise the patient on the risk factors of a renal transplant, for a person facing complete kidney and multi-organ failure, the option is simple and straightforward.