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Kidney Transplant Specialist

Metro Renal Associates

Nephrologists located in Washington, DC & Capitol Heights, MD

On average, every 14 minutes someone is added to the kidney transplant list. The team at Metro Renal Associates in Washington, DC, provides pretransplant evaluation and management for kidney transplants, as well as continued posttransplant care, for patients suffering from kidney failure and end-stage renal disease. After a successful kidney transplant, your new kidney will properly filter your blood and you’ll no longer need further treatments such as dialysis. To find out if you’re an ideal candidate for a kidney transplant, call the office or schedule a consultation online today.

Kidney Transplant Q & A

What is a kidney transplant?

A kidney transplant is an involved surgical procedure to replace a poorly functioning kidney with a healthy kidney from a live or deceased donor.

You have two fist-sized kidneys on either side of your spine right below your rib cage. The primary function of your kidneys is to filter out and remove excess waste through your urine. Your kidneys can become so damaged that they lose this ability, which, in the worst cases, is known as end-stage renal disease.

Generally, this means your kidneys have lost about 90 percent of their ability to function properly. If you reach this point, a kidney transplant is one of the few treatment options you have.

How does a kidney transplant work?

First, the team at Metro Renal Associates engages in a comprehensive pretransplant evaluation with you to determine if you’re a good candidate for a kidney transplant. Your evaluation will include a thorough physical exam, imaging tests, and blood tests.

Some factors may prove risky and prevent you from undergoing a kidney transplant, including:

  • Advanced age
  • Heart disease
  • Active or recently treated cancer
  • Mental illness
  • Alcohol or drug abuse

The procedure itself is performed using general anesthesia. During the surgery, your medical team closely monitors your heart rate, blood pressure, and blood oxygen.

The operating surgeon accesses your lower abdomen through an incision and places your new kidney. Only one healthy kidney is required to replace two poorly functioning kidneys, which is why live donors are a possibility.

The blood vessels of the new kidney are then attached to those in your lower abdomen. The last step is connecting your new kidney’s ureter to your bladder.

What can I expect after a kidney transplant?

After a kidney transplant, the team at Metro Renal Associates remains closely involved and invested in your recovery during your posttransplant evaluation and management.

This will include spending at least a few days and possibly up to a week under the supervision of the team at Metro Renal Associates following the procedure. This is to ensure that your new kidney makes urine like your old kidney did when they were healthy and that the incision site is healing properly.

As time goes on, especially during the first few weeks after the procedure, you’ll need to continue coming in for regular checkups and blood tests. Medication management of prescribed drugs called immunosuppressants that prevent your immune system from rejecting your new kidney will likely be a part of your routine for the rest of your life. You may also need different types of drugs to reduce the risk of any transplant-related infection.

Are there risks associated with a kidney transplant?

Compared to a lifetime of dialysis treatment, a kidney transplant is cheaper, generally includes a better quality of life, fewer dietary restrictions, and less risk of death. However, there are risks involved with the procedure, including:

  • Blood clots
  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Rejection of the donated kidney

In some cases, certain forms of kidney disease can return after a kidney transplant. But in many cases, it’s still a highly effective way of restoring an excellent quality of life after experiencing kidney failure.

To schedule a consultation regarding a potential kidney transplant, call Metro renal Associates or schedule an appointment online today.