The kidneys are the most important paired organs of the human urinary tract system, and they handle both urine production and the filtration of blood plasma. Human kidneys secrete around 1 to 1.5 liters of urine a day, and one kidney weights between 120g and 200g. They are located in the retroperitoneal space to the right and left of the spine.
The most important functions of kidneys:
- purification of blood plasma from nitrogenous metabolic products (urea, uric acid, creatinine);
- removal from the body of foreign toxic molecular entities (e.g.: the release of substances formed as a result of drugs breakdown);
- maintaining a constant volume of intercellular fluid in organs and tissues, which is a key part of 'homeostasis' and supports the normal function of the entire body;
- maintaining a constant concentration of electrolytes, such as sodium, potassium, magnesium, chlorine and calcium;
- regulation of blood pressure (it is for this reason that heart diseases can result from diseases in the urinary system);
- participation in the metabolism of proteins, carbohydrates and lipids. In the process of reverse filtration these compounds are reabsorbed from primary urine;
- participation in hematopoiesis (erythropoietin).
If the kidneys stop functioning properly, this results in the imbalance and disorder of vital activities throughout the entire organism, and also leads to an elevated level of blood toxins. Kidney disorders require immediate treatment because, without the necessary treatments, they quickly become chronic, causing irreversible damage and resulting in ulterior functional abnormalities. Some kidney disorders can only be cured by organ transplantation.
A kidney transplant is a surgical operation which transplants a kidney into the patient (recipient) from the body of another human (the donor).
Such an operation is meant to be used as a method of substitutive renal therapy at the end-stage of chronic kidney diseases when the condition is impossible to cure without a transplant.
Indications for kidney transplantation:
- chronic pyelonephritis (reflux nephropathy);
- hereditary kidney diseases;
- congenital kidney diseases;
- metabolic kidney damages;
- obstructive nephropathy;
- toxic nephropathy;
- systemic diseases;
- hemolytic-uremic syndrome;
- kidney tumors;
- irreversible kidney disease;
- kidney injury.
Contraindications to kidney transplantation:
- The donor is not a good immunological match for the recipient. This can be tested through observing lymphocyte reactions, with a negative result indicating that the kidney will inevitably be rejected.
- There have been malignant tumors in the kidneys or other organs in the last two years, or there has been a treatment for tumors in the cervix, breast or a melanoma treatment in the last 5 years. The exceptions to this are in the case of asymptomatic kidney tumors which were effectively treated, after which there needs to be no wait time before the transplant.
- Presence of infection in the body (except of hepatitis С and B).
- Chronic diseases being present in any other organ, such as in the cases of heart failure, peptic ulcers, diabetes mellitus.
- Unwillingness to follow the doctor's instructions. After kidney transplantation, you will need to take certain medications in a timely and regular manner, and an inability to do this will result in the transplanted kidney being rejected.
- Psychological conditions which involve personality changes (schizophrenia, epilepsy, alcoholism, drug addiction).
How does a kidney transfer happen?
A kidney transplant consists of both a donor and recipient stage:
Donor stage – stage of donor selection
The process of donor selection is carried out. This may involve the relatives of the recipient, providing they have two healthy kidneys and do not have any infectious diseases (such as hepatitis or HIV). Regardless of who the donor is, the blood group, genetics, age and other criteria are checked for suitability. Should the kidney be considered a likely good match, it is recovered laparoscopically with minimal trauma and a consequently rapid rehabilitation process.
Who can be a kidney donor?
In Turkey both relatives and non-related people can be considered for voluntary organ donors. They may opt to donate either a part or a whole organ, depending on the recipient's need and the donor's situation and willingness.
A personal assistant supplied by Remed Assistance will welcome you at the airport, accompany you to the hospital and do the necessary translation in order to guarantee a worry-free medical trip experience in Turkey.
The transplantation itself is carried out at this stage.
Preoperative stage and diagnostics
Before the kidney transplant, the recipient and the donor undergo an extensive examination and a detailed assessment of tissue compatibility to minimize the chance or a rejected transplant. This process of assessment will involve:
- blood group, Rh factor;
- (complete and biochemical) blood tests;
- screening for viral and bacterial diseases;
- serologic assay.
Instrumental methods of diagnosis
- ultrasonography and kidney Doppler sonography;
- X-ray of kidneys and urinary bladder;
- 24-hour blood pressure and ECG monitoring (donor over 40 years old).
For a few days before the transplantation, patients are recommended to follow a special diet. All operations are performed under general anesthesia. The donor kidney is then removed by open (laparoscopic) surgery. This operation lasts between 3 and 8 hours. In the recipient, incisions are made for access, followed by the placement of the donor kidney into the iliac fossa. At this stage, anastomoses (connections) are formed between the kidney vessels and the iliac vessels, and either a donor ureter is implanted into the bladder or an anastomosis (connection) with the recipient's original ureter is formed. In nearly all cases, the recipient's original kidneys are not removed. After the kidney is transplanted, the surgical wound is sutured layer by layer, and a cosmetic stitch is applied to the skin.
After kidney transplantation the patient usually stays for circa 2 to 5 days in the intensive care unit, and averagely in 10 to 15 days, under favorable postoperative period progress, is discharged from the in-patient department. The stitches and retention bridges are removed in 10-14 days. The patient has to stay in Turkey until the fact is established that the operation was successful and there is no organ rejection. At this time, the patient will need to undergo medical tests and visit the attending physician. It is recommended to refrain from physical exertion and keep a diet personally developed by our doctors.
Beginning with the post-transplantation day, the patient starts taking specific drugs – immunosuppressors – lifelong in order to prevent a donor organ rejection. Every two weeks the patients visit the transplantation center to undergo medical tests, to carry out an abdominal ultrasonography.
Kidney transplantation in Turkey
The transplantation issues in Turkey are settled in terms of legislation. The international patients in Turkey are allowed to transplant kidney from living relative donor.
The advantages of treatment in Turkey:
You may get recommendations and treatment plan from the medical specialists of the top clinics of Turkey, as well as an alternative opinion regarding the provided or only assigned treatment from the medical specialists of the top clinics.
The advantages of treatment in Turkey are: top-class medical treatment and reasonable prices.
The clinics of Turkey work in accordance with global standards using the best practices of collegues from Europe and USA as well as their own unique experience. Turkey is among the countries that are top requested for treatment.
The citizens of a series of countries are attracted by reasonable prices and a high treatment level in Turkey.
In turkish clinics a psychological comfort and a real kindness of all the medical personnel is guaranteed to the patients.
Departure from airport
You will be accompanied to the airport by a personal assistance. By provided flight authorization and medical report, you will take your flight to home!
After your return, Remedhealth.com agents will be available for any future request.