Kidney transplant or dialysis?
A kidney transplant is often preferable to dialysis. Dialysis can achieve 10 to 20 percent of the renal function. After a transplant, the renal function is often 50 percent. This results in significantly improved health. A kidney transplant also provides a better quality of life than dialysis. You are no longer restricted by dialysis sessions. Most kidney patients feel more energetic after a transplant. They can resume their daily activities more easily. Life expectancy also usually increases after a kidney transplant. In short, life will offer you many more opportunities after a transplant.
Transplant before dialysis
You can undergo a transplant even before you begin dialysis. This is called pre-emptive transplantation. Transplantation is already an option when your kidneys are still just about functioning sufficiently and you do not yet need any renal function replacement therapy (pre-terminal renal insufficiency). Dialysis has negative consequences, so these can be avoided through an early transplant. If you would like to undergo a kidney transplant before beginning dialysis, it is important that you look for a living donor. The waiting list for a kidney from a deceased donor is long. With a kidney from a living donor, you can be helped more quickly. This will improve your future prospects.
Read more about living kidney donation
Transplant after dialysis
You can also consider a transplant using a kidney from a living donor if you are already undergoing dialysis and are on the waiting list for a kidney. You can look for a living donor among your family and people you know. If you find someone who is interested in being a living donor, you can visit the hospital with your donor. Your donor will then receive more information about living donation and can take time to think about this information. Of course, it is no problem if your donor prefers to come alone.
Medication and side effects
A kidney transplant has a positive impact on your future life. But there are also some disadvantages. After a kidney transplant, you will need to take medication. This medication ensures that your body does not reject the transplanted kidney. You will need to continue taking this medication for the rest of your life. The medication inhibits the immune response of the body. This means that you will also be more susceptible to infections. The medication increases the risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer (particularly skin cancer). You may also suffer from side effects. These side effects differ for different medicines.
Suitability for a transplant
You can discuss whether you are eligible for a kidney transplant with your doctor at your own hospital. Whether or not a transplant is the best choice for you will be determined on the basis of your health. Of course, you will need to be able to withstand surgery and you must be able to take particular medication. This medication prevents rejection of the new kidney. We will examine whether there are any physical or psychological conditions that would form an obstacle to transplantation. If it is decided that you can undergo a transplant, you could visit the hospital with a living donor.