Kidneys are one of the most vital organs of human body and play a major role in keeping us alive. A normal, healthy human body consists of two kidneys. These are a bean-shaped organ, having the size of a fist, and are located just below the rib cage on both sides of the spine. Kidneys filter body fluids, mainly blood, and remove excess minerals, waste, and fluids from the body in the form of urine. Kidneys are essential for living since they remove toxic and waste materials from the human body.
But due to certain serious health conditions, kidneys are damaged beyond healing by medicines. As such there is only one option to keep the body functioning normally, Kidney Transplant. A kidney transplant is undertaken in case the original kidneys of an individual lose 90% or more of their ability to function properly - a stage known as the End stage renal disease. Kidney transplant refers to the surgical treatment of providing a healthy kidney, received from a donor to an individual whose kidneys have lost their capability to function in the desired manner.
Indications for Kidney Transplantation
An individual may require kidney transplantation at any stage depending on a number of factors. These factors can be due to some long-term ailments or health issues from recent past. Patients who require kidney transplantation are known to suffer from one or more of the following conditions –
- End Stage Renal Disease- It refers to the stage when glomerular filtration rate of an individual’s kidneys becomes less than 15 ml per minute per 1.73 square meters.
- Diabetes mellitus - Diabetes refers to the stage when an individual suffers from a group of metabolic diseases that result in high levels of blood sugar for an extended period of time. Renal failure is a common outcome of long-term diabetes.
- Malignant Hypertension - is a condition when systolic blood pressure goes over 180 mmHg, and diastolic blood pressure goes over 120 mmHg. The individuals who suffer from malignant hypertension for a considerable period of time usually need kidney transplant later in life.
- Infections - Though our immune system tries its best to protect us against the attack from all kinds of disease-causing agents, sometimes it fails and hence we suffer from one or the other type of infection. Kidney infections are amongst the leading causes necessitating kidney transplant.
- Polycystic kidney disease- Polycystic kidney disease, or PKD, is an inherited kidney disorder involving the development of fluid-filled cysts in the kidneys. PKD causes severe damage to kidneys and halts normal kidney functioning eventually leading to kidney failure and thus the condition of a kidney transplant.
- Chronic Glomerulonephritis - It refers to inflammation that eventually results in scarring of small filters, called glomeruli in medical terms, present in the kidneys. It is also amongst the leading causes of kidney failure leading to the need of kidney transplant.
Contra-Indications for Kidney Transplantation
Many individuals around the world are suffering from ESRD and are in need of kidney transplant. But not every one of them qualifies for the same. Kidney transplantation is amongst the serious medical procedures and is considered as a complex surgery. The patient needs to be fit and vigorous to undergo this surgery. The patients who qualify in all senses are advised to undergo this surgical treatment. Below mentioned are the conditions that are total contra-indications to a Kidney Transplant: -
- Cardiac and Pulmonary Insufficiency- If the patient suffers from the severe cardiac disease, then he/she does not qualify for kidney transplantation since there are high chances of transplantation failure in such cases. The patient needs to possess a healthy cardiovascular system to undergo a kidney transplant.
- Severe Obesity- Morbid obesity, the stage when BMI is greater than 40, hinders various treatments including kidney transplant since mortality rate in such cases after surgery is quite high.
- Cancers-. Cancer, be it related to kidney or any other organ, acts as a strict contraindication to kidney transplant surgery.
- Tobacco and smoking- If the patient is unable to quit smoking or the intake of tobacco then they are not suitable for the kidney transplant since there are high chances of transplant failure in such cases.
- HIV Infection - If the patient is suffering from drug-resistant HIV or HIV infection or malnutrition or any other similar ailment, they are not considered suitable for the transplant due to the high chances of transplant failure.
- Mental illnesses- A person suffering from any kind of major mental illness will not be able to take care of him or herself in the desired manner, especially after the surgery, leading to transplant failure.
- Other conditions - Certain kinds of infectious diseases, on-going substance abuse and the tendency to quit post-surgery medication are some of the other factors that act as contra-indications for a kidney transplant.