A kidney transplant is a major medical procedure and a complex one too. It requires a lot of monitoring and attention to make kidney transplant a long-lasting success. Due to associated complications and complexities, patients need to follow strict regulations before, during and after a kidney transplant. Post-operative care is as important as the care during operation in case of a kidney transplant. Many precautions must be taken care of, to make kidney transplant successful. Post-operative care required post kidney transplant is as follows –
- ICU – As soon as kidney transplant surgical procedure is complete, the patient is transferred to ICU for recovery. A patient who has undergone a kidney transplant usually needs to be in ICU for 3 to 4 days after the surgery. After being closely monitored in ICU for 3 to 4 days and ensuring proper functioning of body organs, the patient is shifted to a general ward for the further recovery process.
- Rejection – Rejection is the major issue encountered after any major organ transplant including the kidney transplant. After the donor’s kidney is put in patient’s body, there are chances that it would be recognized as a foreign tissue by their body and would be attacked by their immune system as a natural process. The attack by the immune system can be so severe that it can damage the newly transplanted kidney. So as to avoid the rejection of newly transplanted kidney by patient’s body, the patient is provided with Immunosuppressant medications. These medicines suppress the patient’s immunity and help his or her body in accepting the transplanted kidney.
- Immunosuppressants – Immunosuppressants are provided to the patient after the surgical procedure of implanting donor’s kidney into his or her body. They reduce the immunity of the patient, so regular checkups are necessary to detect any new infection.
- Diagnostic Tests –. These tests are done to check if the transplanted kidney is working properly or not and also to ensure that there are no new complications due to the transplant procedure.
- Blood Tests: - Intake of Immunosuppressants results in reduced immunity of the patient and hence blood tests are conducted to ensure that the patient is not attacked by any life-threatening bacteria or virus.
- Dietary Restrictions: - Patients who have received a new kidney through organ transplant procedure are required to follow strict diets. The patient needs to avoid smoking and the intake of alcohol or tobacco at all costs. A Proper diet should be taken that ensures proper functioning of the body along with proving helpful in the recovery process.
- Regular Check-ups – Patients undergoing kidney transplant are also required to undergo regular check-ups involving examining blood pressure, bone density, blood sugar levels, x-ray examinations, etc. Regular check-ups help in detecting any issues and complexities that may arise after the transplantation.
Patient, after a kidney transplant, needs to be under close monitoring for around 5 to 7 days. This close monitoring is necessary to decide on the rejection rate of transplanted organ along with keeping an eye on other organs and body functions. Doctors also decide the dose of immunosuppressant during this period and regularly check for any kind of infection. The patient usually needs to visit quite frequently during first 2 months after the surgery for regular blood check-ups, urine tests, cancer screening tests and for halting the rejection by changing the immunosuppressant dose accordingly. The patient becomes more vulnerable to infections and diseases after the transplant surgery due to the intake of immunosuppressant. To ensure proper health, the patient needs to visit the doctor regularly for at least first 6 months after the surgery.
Doctors advise visiting the hospital as soon as the patient encounters symptoms of any ailment. For ex-post surgery, fever can be the result of rejection or infection. So patient needs to be in close contact with his or her transplant team for some time after surgery.
Prevention of Kidney Disease
Most of the kidney-related health problems can be avoided by following certain preventive measures and incorporating a healthy lifestyle. Though sometimes kidney diseases can be genetic, such as polycystic kidney disease, most of the reasons behind kidney failure can be controlled and avoided. These preventive measures, when incorporated properly can significantly improve the kidney health. Below are some of the precautions and preventive measures that one should adopt to ensure disease-free kidneys -
- Control Blood sugar level: -Monitor your blood sugar levels closely and ensure that it stays within limits. Increased blood sugar not only leads to kidney failure but is the root cause of many other health issues.
- Ensure regulated blood pressure: - Hypertension causes significant harm to blood vessels present in the entire body. You must ensure ideal blood pressure so as to ensure proper health for your kidneys.
- Moderate Alcohol Consumption: - Excess intake of alcohol has major ill-effects on your kidneys as they get worn out due to excessive amounts of alcohol on a regular basis.
- Maintain correct BMI: -. People who have BMI or Body Mass Index greater than 40 are more prone to kidney failure. So one should ensure proper BMI so as to remain away from kidney diseases.
- Exercise daily: - Daily exercise not only saves you from kidney diseases but also ensure prevention against a lot of other diseases.
- Quit smoking: - The ill-effects of smoking harm kidneys and their functioning. You should quit smoking to ensure healthy kidneys.
- Maintain ideal Cholesterol levels: - Cholesterol concentrations in the body must be preserved to the standard readings so as to save the body from kidney ailments.