In a living donor laparoscopic nephrectomy, the surgeon uses a special camera called a laparoscope to view the internal organs and guide the procedure to minimize scarring and recovery time. The donor kidney is removed through a small incision below the navel and transplanted to the recipient. A kidney transplant is surgery to place a healthy kidney from a living or deceased donor in a person whose kidneys no longer work properly. After the operation, you will immediately begin treatment with medications designed to prevent the immune system from rejecting the new kidney.
See Living with a kidney transplant for more information. A kidney transplant is surgery performed to replace a diseased kidney with a healthy kidney from a donor. The kidney can come from a deceased organ donor or from a living donor. Family members or other people who are compatible can donate one of their kidneys.
This type of transplant is called a live transplant. People who donate a kidney can lead a healthy life with a healthy kidney. During kidney transplant surgery, the surgeon places a healthy kidney in the body. You will be given general anesthesia before surgery.
The surgery usually lasts 3 or 4 hours. Unless damaged kidneys cause infections or high blood pressure or are cancerous, they can stay in the body. Surgeons usually transplant a kidney in the lower abdomen, near the groin. If you have two healthy kidneys, you may be able to donate one of your kidneys to improve or save someone else's life.
Whether you're waiting for a kidney donation or your transplant surgery is already scheduled, work to stay healthy. After a successful kidney transplant, the new kidney will filter the blood and no longer need dialysis. The types of surgery that live kidney donors undergo to remove the kidney have evolved significantly over the past 50 years. This program allows kidney transplants to be performed in patients who have developed antibodies against their kidney donors, a situation known as a positive cross-test.
When a kidney from a living donor is transplanted, the donor's remaining kidney is enlarged to take over the work of two. If you want to be a living donor, you will need to undergo a medical examination with blood tests to make sure you are healthy enough to donate a kidney. A kidney from a left donor will be implanted on the right side and a kidney from a right donor will be implanted on the left side. A kidney transplant can treat chronic kidney disease or end-stage kidney disease to help you feel better and live longer.
Risks also include the side effects of taking anti-rejection medications (immunosuppressants) needed to prevent the body from rejecting the donor kidney. You should also meet with a psychologist and an independent living donor advocate to make sure you are mentally and emotionally prepared to donate one of your kidneys. The National Kidney Foundation (NKF) is the largest, most comprehensive and oldest organization dedicated to the awareness, prevention and treatment of kidney disease. After a kidney transplant, you'll take medications to help prevent the body from rejecting the donor's kidney.
After your kidney transplant, you may need to adjust your diet to keep your new kidney healthy and working well. A transplant center can put you on the waiting list to receive a kidney from a donor if your kidney function is 20 or less, even if you are not receiving dialysis.