Your kidneys are essential for filtering waste and toxins from your body. However, they can become damaged by certain illnesses and conditions, such as kidney disease. In these cases, a transplant is the only way to restore kidney function.
Kidney transplants come in three varieties: deceased donor transplants, living donor transplants, and paired kidney exchanges. Let’s discuss how each type works and where you can go for an outstanding kidney transplant in Marlborough, MA.
1. Deceased Donor Transplants
When a person dies, their organs can be harvested and used for transplant. Deceased donor kidney transplants are the most common type of kidney transplant today.
They involve a deceased organ donor whose family has decided to donate their loved one’s organs and tissue. The donor organ is surgically removed and then transplanted into the recipient.
Advantages of Deceased Donor Transplants
This type of transplant offers the advantage of getting a donor organ quickly. However, it also has some potential risks and disadvantages.
Still, some patients reach a point where a transplant is the only viable option. Physicians will exhaust all possibilities to find a suitable donor.
Disadvantages of Deceased Donor Transplants
The disadvantages of deceased donor transplants are that organs can be in short supply. It also takes time to find a suitable donor.
This can make getting one difficult for a person needing a transplant.
2. Living Donor Transplants
A living donor transplant involves an organ or tissue donated by a living donor, like a family member or friend.
This type of transplant is less common than deceased donor transplants due to the potential risks involved for both parties. But it’s an option if no suitable deceased donors can be found.
It occurs when both the donor and recipient are willing and able to proceed with the procedure.
Advantages of Living Donor Transplants
The advantage of this transplant is that the recipient can get an organ much more quickly than with a deceased donor. This is because the transplanted organ does not have to travel as far. There is also less risk of tissue infection.
Living donor transplants have a lower risk of organ rejection than deceased donor transplants. In addition, they are the preferred option when available.
Disadvantages of Living Donor Transplants
Living donor transplants come with risks for both parties. For example, there might be infections or complications from anesthesia during the medical procedure.
Plus, it can be an emotionally trying process for both the donor and recipient.
3. Paired Kidney Exchanges
Paired kidney exchanges are a type of living donor transplant that involves these circumstances:
- A person is willing and able to donate an organ
- Their organ is not compatible with the recipient
- So, they donate it to another recipient in exchange for a compatible organ from another donor
Also called a “chain” transplant, these exchanges involve multiple donors and recipients connected in a chain.
This type of transplant is becoming increasingly popular as it allows people with incompatible donors to still receive a transplant.
Advantages of Paired Kidney Exchanges
The advantage of paired kidney exchanges is that they provide an opportunity for those needing a transplant to get one. A transplant becomes possible even if they have no compatible donor.
It also reduces the amount of time spent searching for a suitable organ and decreases the chances of organ rejection.
Disadvantages of Paired Kidney Exchanges
The disadvantages of paired kidney exchanges include the potential for complications. There’s also the lack of control over who will receive your donated organ.
In addition, there’s a risk that the chain may be disrupted due to medical issues or other unforeseen circumstances.
Choosing the Best Transplant
All three options offer those needing a transplant the opportunity to receive an organ. However, each option carries its own set of risks and advantages. Patients and their families must weigh these options carefully before deciding which is best for them.
In addition, it’s always important to consult your healthcare team when considering any kidney transplant. They can provide more information and advice on each option.
Kidney Transplants in Marlborough, MA
If you are considering undergoing a kidney transplant, visit Commonwealth Nephrology Associates for a consultation. Our team of expert physicians will check if you’re a good candidate for the procedure. You can rest easy in the hands of our capable team, who will make sure to get you on the path to recovery. Our nephrologists are proactive in advocating for our patients who are interested in transplants and help facilitate the evaluation in the transplant center of the patient’s choice.
We look forward to being your long-term health partner!