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Did you know that more than 24,000 kidney transplant surgeries were performed in the United States of America in 2019? Getting kidney transplant surgery is a big deal that brings life-altering consequences. If you want to live your best and healthiest life then you owe it to yourself to prepare for your kidney transplant in the best way possible.
Following the proper preparations and procedures will make a big difference no matter if you’re receiving the kidney or you’re donating a kidney to someone in need. You’ll make life much easier on the medical professionals and you’ll make the procedure safer for yourself.
The good news is that you’re in the right place to learn about what you can do pre-surgery and post-surgery for a successful kidney transplant. Keep reading to learn more today!
Preparing for a Kidney Transplant
The first step that you should take when you determine that you’re in need of a new kidney is the evaluation process. You’ll need to visit an accredited and reputable transplant center to determine if you’re mentally and physically ready to go through kidney transplant surgery.
The process of getting evaluated requires a total health evaluation by a medical professional. It’s also your first chance to meet the medical team that will handle your kidney transplant. Keep in mind that this evaluation could take as little as one day or it could require multiple days.
Expect to undergo a number of tests during your visit, like looking at your blood pressure and testing for hepatitis. The doctor will want to perform a prostate exam for men that want a kidney transplant, and a mammogram and Pap smear for women. Kidney and liver tests also play an important role in determining whether you’re a surgery candidate.
Once the transplant center determines that you’re ready for a new kidney they’ll start matching you up with a donor. You’ll also need to consider the other types of preparation involved with medical procedures. Start saving money that you can put toward your medical expenses.
Your medical team also understands the mental burden that comes with getting a kidney transplant. They’ll want you to go through some mental health tests before proceeding. It also shows them that you can follow directions for treatment after the surgery.
Finding a Match
The next step for your kidney transplant requires finding a match that is interested in donating a kidney. If the new kidney isn’t similar to the organs and tissues in your own body then your body’s immune system will attack and reject it. Your immune system is designed to protect your body from foreign things that can cause you harm.
The new kidney will get your immune system fired up and lead to a total rejection of the replacement organ. Having matching blood types with the kidney donor is one of the most successful ways to trick your immune system and increase the odds of a successful operation.
Meet Your Kidney Transplant Team
One of the most important components of any successful kidney transplant surgery is the transplant team. This team is your biggest asset for determining if you’re a good candidate for the surgery. They also specialize in helping you before and after surgery.
The physicians have the knowledge and skills to handle your patient care and provide you with any necessary prescriptions. The surgeons that perform the transplant surgery are also a big part of a successful transplant team, along with the Nephrologist at The Kidney Institute.
You’ll also gain access to financial coordinators when you decide to move forward with the surgery. These professionals will work with your insurance company to make sure that everything is taken care of with your finances leading up to surgery.
Don’t forget transplant nurses that will help you during pre-surgery and post-surgery protocols. The care that they provide will go a long way toward getting you back on your feet and living your best life.
Schedule Kidney Transplant Surgery
You’ll also need to work with the transplant team to schedule your transplant surgery. This gets a bit tricky if you have a living kidney donor. Donating a kidney is a big deal, so it’s best to schedule your surgery for the same date as theirs.
Some people end up on a list to receive a deceased kidney. If you’re on that list then you can expect a phone call letting you know that you should come to the hospital as soon as possible. They’ll try to complete your surgery that same day.
Expect a blood test when you arrive at the hospital to ensure that your body will accept the new kidney. If your blood matches up with the organ then the transplant nurses will prep you for surgery.
Recovering From a Kidney Transplant
After a successful procedure, you’ll need to follow the doctor’s instructions for self-care. It’s a safe bet that you’ll spend a few days in the hospital after surgery in order to monitor your health.
Some patients find that they’re creating their own urine immediately. Others could take a bit of time before the new kidney is up and running. It is common for deceased kidneys to take a bit longer to start functioning at the highest levels.
Your transplant team will also look to prescribe you medications that focus on suppressing your immune system. It’s a big part of helping your body accept the new kidney, and without those meds, it is quite likely that the procedure could fail. The next step is taking your first steps on your feet after getting the surgery before leaving the hospital for the comforts of home.
Now You’re Prepared to Get a Kidney Transplant
It’s a big deal to get a kidney transplant, and for thousands of people nationwide it is the difference between life and death. It’s important that you visit a transplant center to get evaluated by the kidney transplant team and have patience when finding the perfect match for donating a kidney. Take things slow and listen to the instructions from the medical professionals.
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