Once it has been decided that you need a kidney transplant, you will have to start exploring the different possibilities for you with the transplant team. There are multiple options for a kidney transplant. Nowadays, an ABO-incompatible (blood type incompatible) kidney transplant is also possible. Thus, you should ensure that you are receiving the kidney transplant at a hospital equipped with the latest treatments.
Read on to know more about the types of Kidney transplant options:
Deceased Donor Kidney Transplant
In this, the kidney for transplant comes from a deceased donor. These are usually people who have suffered cardiac or brain death. Such individuals should have previously indicated their wish to donate organs or given permission to their relatives for agreeing to their organ donation. The waiting time for a deceased donor can be long and you may have to wait for years as the list continues to grow every year.
Living Donor Kidney Transplant
Here, a living donor decides to donate a kidney to the recipient. Living donor kidney transplants can be divided into different types:
1. Directed donation: It is one of the most common types of kidney transplants. Here, the donor directs the kidney to a specific individual for the transplant. The donor could be:
- A biological relative like a brother, sister, parent, or child
- Someone who may not be biologically related to you but has a social or personal connection to you. This can include your significant other or spouse, coworker, and friend.
2. Non-directed donation: This is also called altruistic donation as the donor doesn’t specify a recipient for the transplant. The kidney is donated in order to help patients with kidney failure. There may be no connection or known contact between the donor and the recipient. Some donors may not even try to contact the recipient. The recipient for such type of a transplant will be determined based on urgency and medical compatibility.
3. Paired exchange or paired donation: This is also known as “kidney swap”. Suppose there’s a donor A who is ready to give the kidney to recipient A but their blood types do not match. Similarly, another such pair of donor B and recipient B exists. Then, if the blood types match, then donor A can give the kidney to recipient B and donor B will donate the kidney to recipient A. This swapping allows two transplants to occur. Usually, a paired kidney exchange involves multiple transplant candidates and living kidney donors.
The positives of living donor kidney transplants are
- It allows you to schedule the surgery at a time convenient for both you and the donor.
- Usually, the living donor is a biological relative, this genetic compatibility leads to reduced chances of rejection.
- It may also reduce the waiting time for a deceased donor kidney and also eliminate the need to stay on dialysis.
Though the benefits of a living donor kidney transplant are undebatable, it is still major surgery and can pose risks. To prevent kidney rejection, it is advisable you follow the regimen of immunosuppressants as suggested by your doctor.
Avail Kidney Transplantation Across the World
It is important that you know the different types of kidney transplant options available to you. Talk with your nephrologist to know more about them. You should also discuss with your doctor what your life will look like until you receive a transplant.