What Chronic Kidney Disease Patients Can Expect During Preoperative Kidney Transplant Procedure

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Most people know about the transplant procedure itself, but what they are less aware of is the evaluation procedure to qualify for a kidney transplant and how much is riding on that process. Let’s review the A B Cs of the medical evaluation necessary to receive a Kidney Transplant. This review affords us an opportunity to imagine that moment when we “get the call” from the Transplant Care Team telling us that they have our match. These types of reviews are undertakings that many long-time End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) patients rarely consider anymore, yet it’s a thought that those diagnosed with Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) should hold on to and be prepared for.

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Once approved for Transplant Medical Evaluation, patients are scheduled for orientation where the pertinent educational materials are given and a Pre-Transplant Coordinator is assigned to discuss tests and procedures of the medical evaluation;  they handle the scheduling of consultations with the Nephrologist; social worker and all, if not most of the lab tests and x-rays.

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Many facilities operate under the American Society of Transplantation ( AST) clinical practice guidelines for the evaluation of renal transplant candidates and living renal transplant donors. These guidelines were designed to assist the healthcare team in the evaluation process that leads to renal transplantation and in the evaluation process of potential living kidney donors. 

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The evaluation will include the following:

  • Transplant Nephrologist evaluation
  • Transplant Social Worker evaluation
  • Blood work which will include: Routine blood chemistries; tests to rule out active hepatitis, syphilis, and AIDS; blood typing and tissue typing tests which will help the transplant team find the best possible kidney match for you.
  • Chest X-Ray, renal sonogram
  • Electrocardiogram, TB test and stool test for blood.

Recommended Reading: What You Can Do to Get on the Kidney Transplant Waiting List After Being Rejected 

After receiving the green light for transplantation, it’s a matter of waiting for your donor kidney to be found.  You’ll continue on dialysis as ordered until that glorious day comes when the phone rings to say that they have found your match.  

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You may be asked to stop taking some medicines such as anti-inflammatory drugs and blood thinners a week or so before your procedure. You should anticipate the use of a general anesthesia to block any pain and keep you asleep during your transplant surgery. The surgery itself will take approximately 3 to 6 hours, but you should expect to stay in the hospital for 1 or 2 weeks. Although you will experience some pain after surgery, your doctor will prescribe pain medicine during your recovery process. 

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KidneyBuzz.com will continue to share insights and information to improve your transplant outcomes and to help you get a Kidney Transplant sooner. We encourage you to visit KidneyBuzz.com regularly for daily CKD news and information as well as Follow us on Twitter @kidneybuzz and "Like" our Facebook Page for up to date information. KidneyBuzz.com believes that you should never give up hope of seeing that day when you receive your call!  

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References: 

"Kidney Transplant Care: Pre & Postoperative." Http://www.thirdage.com/. ThirdAge Media, LLC.

"Referral and Pre-Transplant Surgery Process." Kidney Transplant Pre-Surgery Process and Referral. Baylor University Medical Center or Baylor Health Care System’s Subsidiary.