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Kidney » Kidney Transplant

How Can Your Immune System Screw up Your Kidney Transplant Surgery

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A transplanted organ in your body, be it heart, liver or kidneys, is the same as you in a hostile enemy state with the only available food and medicine supplies. Your fate will depend on how the natives perceive your intentions.


And eighteen out of nineteen times, you’ll be labeled an enemy rather than an aid.

The Organ Rejection Concept

In Kidney transplant surgeries, post-op organ rejection is a common complication.

Your body isn’t always the best of friends with any external elements. By the fundamental rules of your immune system, a transplanted organ is identified as foreign tissue. And alien tissue equals to threat.

So, in a well-meant mission to save you, your immune system attacks this donor kidney, destabilizing it and thus, causing it to fail.

To protect your donor organ from your immune system, the doctors give you immunosuppressants. These drugs reduce the default defense of your body, giving your new kidney a chance to resume its functions.

Types of Rejections- Hyperacute, Acute, and Chronic

Hyperacute rejection is when your body rejects the donor organ within minutes of transplantation. The antibodies in the blood stream reach the transplant and instantaneously or within a few hours, react adversely, causing the organ to fail.

Acute rejection is common, difficult to diagnose and treat at times, and present in almost all cases of organ transplantation. It occurs because of HLA antigen mismatch and within a few weeks our a few months after the transplantation surgery.

Chronic rejection takes its time to show up but is just as lethal. Here, the immune defenses work in a slow manner, antibodies attack the transplant but keep it down, damaging a bit at a time. Gradual attacks scar the donor organ to a point where it crashes. It mostly happens after a year or so of the surgery.

How Would the Doctors Know If Your Immune System is bullying the Transplanted Organ

Well, they would know because they would be watching you.

A renal transplant surgery can get tricky. There are many complications. In some cases, the donor organ can have certain well-hidden infections, even cancer. Or your body can go nuts and attack the transplant. Something as simple appearing as a clot in a bloodstream can cause the entire surgery to go down the drain.

The point- a kidney transplant surgery has aftereffects. And your doctors know this. There is no way they’ll let you go the moment your surgery finishes. Not only will they watch you for hyperacute and acute rejections by keeping you in the hospital, but they’ll also ask you to visit them regularly once you are discharged. This way, they can maintain a record of your blood work and make sure that the transplanted kidney isn’t going rogue.

But What if the Donor Kidney Fails?

You have to consider many concepts before you go for a kidney transplant surgery. Success rates, failure rates, complications. What happens if the surgery fails? Or whatever could befall if the donor's kidney fails to work.

You are made aware of all that could occur. You know that the operation might be successful, or it could fail outright. Or it could fail after a year or after six years. You might have to resume dialysis.

Kidney transplantation surgery sure is a big ball of possible circumstances. But people know all this and still dare to take a chance. Because if it does work, if the transplant fits in, if the immunosuppressants work their magic, if it all falls into place, that is a chance worth taking.

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ZealthDoc is a medical tourism website providing healthcare services like Liver Transplant, Kidney Transplant, Cardiology, IVF etc

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