The body has one kidney with two separate organ sides – left and right. The kidney is designed to filter out our blood supply by removing waste, it keeps our body fluid’s in balance, and it regulates the electrolytes. The kidney is the organ whereby all our blood at some point passes through throughout the day.
Depending on the circumstances, if blood does not flow into the kidney, then part of this organ will die and this is known as kidney failure. A kidney transplant is your only option. A transplant consists of a healthy kidney being placed inside a man, a woman, or a child. Transplants are not the panacea. A kidney transplant can last for years but this varies from person to person. This means that once you receive a kidney transplant, you may need another one later in life.
To be eligible for a transplant, your health must be good, free from any type of disease or infection. As a major surgery, each patient receives a full medical and psychological evaluation. The evaluation is given to determine if you are physically, mentally, and spiritually able to tolerate taking lifelong immune-suppressing medication regiment and their side effects.
The side effects can include hair growing on parts of the body where it does not always appear, skin breakouts, weight gain, and other effects that your doctor can help you with. Also, your evaluation is to determine if you are capable of following all instructions from your doctor including changing your diet and perhaps your lifestyle.
A kidney transplant surgery does not require that your entire organ be removed. Unless this organ is wholly diseased, most of your kidney can remain intact. If your new kidney was taken from a person whom you match and has opted to donate it, the kidney following surgery should begin working immediately.
However, if the kidney was taken from someone who is deceased, then the organ will need up to four weeks to work properly. In the meantime, you will be on dialysis. As a donated kidney, it will be placed in the lower part of your abdomen which helps physicians monitor its function and in this part of the body, it is easily connected to the bladder and the required blood vessels.
When you awake from surgery, yes you will be given pain-relieving drugs. Your hospital stay can take up to a week where you are carefully monitored. You will experience the need to expel waste almost immediately. The difference in this function is that if your kidney came from a family member as a match, then your new kidney has easily assimilated within the body. If your kidney came from another source, then your kidney will take longer before your waste can automatically be expelled.