What Is Kidney Transplant And When Do You Need It?

Posted On May 18, 2023

6 Min Read

Dr. Vishwanath S

HOD & Consultant - Nephrology, Transplant Physician

Manipal Hospitals - Old Airport Road - Bengaluru

Kidney transplant Hospital in Old Airport road

Kidneys are important organs in our body as they are responsible for cleaning out urea and other waste materials from the body through urine. Apart from that, they serve to manage the body's salt and acid levels by keeping them balanced. The problem arises when the kidneys lose their detoxifying capacity, as harmful levels of fluid and waste accumulate in the body, leading to high blood pressure and, ultimately, renal failure. 

Even though every individual has two kidneys, one kidney is generally more than enough to keep a human body functioning. However, if you have an End-stage Renal Disease (ESRD), a kidney transplant or dialysis may become necessary. Dialysis is a treatment that removes wastes and other unwanted substances from the blood, and if you opt for dialysis, you may have to undergo the procedure regularly.

What is Kidney Transplant Surgery?

A kidney transplant is a surgical process that replaces a damaged or weak kidney with a healthy and functioning kidney. A kidney from a live or deceased individual may be donated to the patient. Family members and close relatives are suitable organ donors for living donor kidney transplants. A patient receives only one kidney from the donor since they can live healthily with just one kidney.

Kidney failure is a chronic condition that can lead to various diseases or conditions if ignored for a long time. As a result, if you experience inconsistency with your urine or pain in the lower back area of your body, you should see a doctor immediately so that the symptoms may be treated before they get serious. If the specialist of a reputed kidney transplant hospital in Old Airport Roaddecides that a  transplant is necessary, there are specific steps involved that the patient will go through.

The Benefits of Kidney Transplantation

  • Patients who receive kidney transplants often enjoy a greater quality of life.

  • They can live an active lifestyle and work as before. 

  • Fewer dietary limitations than if one were to undergo dialysis.

  • Higher fertility and better sexual health.

  • Kidney transplants eliminate the need for dialysis, which means fewer hospital visits. 

  • Doses of medicines for hypertension caused by kidney diseases will be fewer than before the transplant.

  • Patients who have had kidney transplants say they feel healthier and more energetic overall than when they were experiencing kidney diseases.

Procedure for Kidney Transplant

Before surgery, the patient must undergo a series of blood tests to determine the body's tolerance to the new kidney and help the doctor select a good match. X-rays are also done to assess the present state of a patient's kidneys and general health.

  • An intravenous (IV) line is administered to the patient. More catheters through the groin and other areas may be implanted to collect blood samples and monitor their heart health and blood pressure.

  • The patient will be connected to a ventilator, which will aid them in breathing during the surgery.

  • The doctor will then administer general anaesthesia into the patient's body to keep them calm and relaxed.

  • Then the doctor will monitor their heart rate and other vitals. Once the doctors are assured that everything is in place, they will begin with the kidney transplant procedure.

  • The doctor will initially make an incision on the lower portion of the abdomen. Usually, the right kidney of a donor is implanted on the patient's left side, and the donor's left kidney is implanted on the patient's right side.

  • The incision area is disinfected with an antiseptic solution and either stitched with the help of dissolvable surgical sutures or stapled.

  • The patient may need to stay back several days in the hospital, whereby the nephrologist in Old Airport Road can assess the patient's recovery and keep an eye out for any complications post-surgery.

  • After a kidney transplant, the patient may need to modify their diet to keep their new kidney healthy and functioning. The patient will have fewer diet restrictions than if they were on dialysis before their transplant. Specific dietary changes may include limiting sodium and eating fibrous fruits and vegetables daily.

Kidney transplantation is helpful for many patients with severe chronic renal disease since the quality of life and survival (life expectancy) are generally higher in kidney transplants than in dialysis. After a successful kidney transplant, a patient’s quality of life greatly improves. Recipients once stable after transplant can travel all over the world and work anywhere in India or abroad in any job. Get in touch with a nephrologist today to discuss the transplant requirements in detail.


  • How long does a transplanted kidney last?

A kidney from a living donor can last up to 20-30 years, while a kidney from a deceased donor lasts up to 15-20 years.

  • Is urine leakage a common complication after a kidney transplant?

Urine leakage is a common postoperative complication of a kidney transplant. 

  • Can a person live with one kidney?

People with only one kidney can live a healthy life if they follow a good & healthy diet, drink adequate water, exercise regularly, control their blood pressure, and get frequent check-ups.