Transplants

According to dermatologists, organ transplant is basically moving of an organ from one person’s body to another’s. The person from who the organ is obtained is called the donor while the receiving person is called the recipient. This process is in most cases if not all caused by failure of an organ in the recipient’s body. Different states have different protocols and regulations that govern the transplant process but the basics are more or less the same. Not all organs in the human body can be transplanted and some of the common transplanted organs are the heart, the liver, the kidney, the lungs, the pancreas and the thymus among others. Let us now get to see the process of transplanting an organ.

When an individual is almost dying the physician or doctor who is in charge contacts the donor network first. The doctor or whoever who is in charge then gives out confidential information about the state of the patient that will determine if the patient is a potential donor or not. After this has been effected a transplant specialist is summoned to the location of the patient who has been identified as a potential donor. The specialist then evaluates the stated condition of the patient and the corresponding condition of the organs so that he or she can be able to determine if the organs are suitable for transplant or not basing their medical state. This judgment is made by weighing a variety of options for instance the patient’s past medical grounds and the medical condition that brought down the person.

The step that follows after that is the declaration of death. There are two situations that can arise from this stage of the-bodythe transplant process. The first instance is called the cardiac death and it occurs in the case of a devastating neurological injury or a situation of terminal illness. In such cases some families and friends of the patient may opt to pull off the life supporting services and the patient will be eligible to start donating his or her organs once his or her heart stops beating. The organ network is supposed to be contacted in such a case so that they can organize for the screening of the patient and also seeking the family’s consent for the donation situation. If the family consents to the donation then the life supporting services are pulled off and the organs can be recovered within an hour as the heart stops beating after an hour.
On the second situation called the neurological death donation is done after the patient has been declared brain dead. It should be noted that a brain dead patient is a dead patient. This case is the irreversible loss of the brain and its function and a neurosurgeon must perform tests six hours apart to determine whether a patient is brain dead. After this death has been ascertained then the organs can be retrieved. It should be noted that the retrieval of these organs can only be done after the family of the patient consents to the retrieval.

One step that is forgotten more often than not is the contacting of a coroner or a county medical examiner before the retrieving begins. All patients that are waiting for an organ transplant are listed in the relevant authority along with their specific details regarding their condition and so on. The list is dynamic since some people die waiting for the organs, others receive organs and new others are added to the list. Organs that are found are allocated to the patients according to the urgency, the waiting time and the compatibility of the organ among others.
Once an organ has been found a patient is then allocated and the transplant process is initiated and done so that the organ can be recovered in the recipient’s body. The information regarding the donation is then sent to the family of the donor regarding the details of the transplant process while preserving the confidentiality of the recipient. The costs of the process are then billed to the respective network and the donor family and the donor hospital are then paid by the donor network. That is the whole transplant process.

The Liver Transplant Process

The human liver performs very important functions for our bodies. Simply put, the liver removes toxins and other poisons from our blood streams. It also produces proteins for blood plasma, and transforms food into energy. A person cannot survive without a liver. However, the liver is the only organ that does regenerate. This allows for a partial transplant. If you are curious about the process for a liver transplant this is an example of what a patient can expect.

Screening For Transplant Eligibility

Hopefully a family member or friend will be a match and willing to donate part of their liver. It makes the process easier from the standpoint that the patient knows they will receive a liver in time, and the procedure can be planned. If not they will be screened for eligibility.

The team that will perform the evaluation consists of a transplant surgeon, a transplant hepatologist, transplant human-livernurses, a social worker, a psychologist or psychiatrist, and other team members deemed necessary.

First they will perform a psychological and social evaluation. The purpose is to evaluate how well the patient can handle the stress of the procedure and the recovery process. They are also looking at what family support is available and the financial impact to the patient.

Next there is a battery of blood tests that are necessary. The blood tests will help to determine what is needed for a good donor match as well as identify any diseases and other concerns. It also helps to determine the patient’s priority on the transplant list should they be accepted.

Finally there are diagnostic tests. These include x-rays, ultrasounds, liver biopsy, dental exams, and more. The purpose is to determine the overall health of the patient.

Before they put a patient on the transplant list they want to ensure that the transplant has a high likelihood of success. If the patient has a disease or complication that will make it unlikely that the transplant will proceed they will not be put on the transplant list.

Examples of these reasons are recurring infections that cannot be treated, cancer that has spread, cardiac or other medical problems that make it unlikely the patient could survive the transplant, or other serious conditions that will likely not improve after the transplant. If the patient consumes alcohol or does not comply with the treatment regimen they will not be accepted.

Before the Transplant Surgery

If the patient made it onto the transplant list or they are lucky enough to have a partial liver donated, before the surgery their doctor will meet with them.

The doctor will explain the whole procedure in detail and give the patient an opportunity to ask questions. The patient will also need to sign consent forms. It is important that they take the time to read these and understand them.

Depending on the patients situation the doctor may prescribe specific instructions to prepare prior to the operation.

If there is a live donor they can plan in advance for the operation. If the donor will come from a deceased person that is an organ donor they will need to wait for a call to go to the hospital. Once called it is imperative to go to the hospital immediately.

It is recommended that the patient begin fasting 8 hours prior to the procedure. If called because a donor was found begin fasting immediately.

What To Expect At The Hospital

When the patient arrives at the hospital they will be given a gown to put on. Often a sedative will be given to help the relax as well. An IV will be started in their arm, and catheters will be inserted in the neck and wrist to monitor the status of their heart and blood pressure. These catheters will also provide easy access to blood samples as necessary.

They will be placed on the operating table and if necessary hair will be removed from the place of the incision. An additional catheter will be placed in the bladder to drain it.

The anesthesiologist will sedate the patient and will proceed to insert a tube into their longs to allow him or her to control breathing with a ventilator. Throughout the procedure the anesthesiologist will monitor vital signs.

After the area for the incision is cleansed the surgeon will make his incisions. The lover will be separated from structures and surrounding organs. The surgeon will clamp the arteries and veins, and then remove the old liver.

The new liver will first be carefully inspected and then attached to the arteries, veins, and bile ducts. The surgeon will check for proper blood flow to the new liver and then close the incision.

Post Operation

After the procedure the patient will be taken to ICU where they will be monitored for several days. The overall hospital stay will be one to two weeks after the operation if all goes well.

Blood samples will be taken frequently to monitor how the body is reacting to the liver. In addition medication to prevent the body’s immune system from attacking the new liver will be administered. These medications will be adjusted until a good balance can be maintained. The patient will continue to take these medications for the rest of their life.

As recover progresses machines and tubes will be removed. Food will be reintroduced to the diet. First liquid and then solids when the patient is ready. Activity will be slowly introduced until the patient can walk unaided.

At Home After Liver Transplant Surgery

Once the patient is discharged from the hospital they will have very specific instructions from the doctor that must be followed. This includes how to bathe, symptoms to watch for, and medication to take.

There will be frequent follow up visits for several weeks to monitor the transplant. As long as the body reacts well the patient can return to a relatively normal life, but it will always be necessary to follow the doctor’s instructions, and take their medication.

An Overview of the Kidney Transplant Process

Did you know that the average lifespan of a donated kidney is anywhere between 10 and 15 years? In the vast majority of cases, a transplanted kidney starts working immediately. It brings people that were previously on dialysis new opportunities and a lot of freedom.

The kidney transplant process itself is complex and consisting of various crucial steps. The following guide will give you an overview of the kidney transplant procedure and what happens during it.

Kidney Donation
A donor will first have to be found. This is usually one of the most time-consuming and challenging parts of kidney transplants. The list of people waiting to get a kidney is long and usually, there aren’t enough donors.

The human body can function with just one kidney. This is why a family member will very often volunteer to donate a kidney. Blood and tissue samples have to be taken to figure out whether the potential donor is a good match. If a match is made, one kidney is taken from a relative and prepared for the transplant surgery.

Alternatively, a person in need of a kidney may get the organ from a deceased donor. These are healthy people that most commonly die because of an accident. Their organs are in ideal condition and in the case of family consent, these organs are taken and used to help patients in need of a transplant.

When the kidney is taken from an unrelated donor, there’s a slightly higher risk of organ rejection than in the case of a kidney coming from a relative. Still, this is a good possibility for individuals that have a rare blood type or no friends/relatives capable of donating an organ.

The Kidney Transplant Procedure
The kidney transplant procedure takes place after the donor and recipient matching is completed.human-kidney

In the case of a kidney being donated by a family member, a doctor can take the time to schedule the upcoming surgery. If the organ is coming from a deceased donor, however, the operation will need to go about immediately.

General anesthesia has to be used for organ transplants. After the anesthesia takes hold, the surgeon will make an abdominal incision. If you have a malfunctioning kidney that hasn’t been removed yet, the organ will be taken out prior to the transplantation.

The donated kidney is placed in the lower abdominal region. The surgeon will then have to connect the new organ to blood vessels and arteries that will nourish the kidney. This is a delicate procedure that has to be performed impeccably. Next, the kidney ureter has to be attached to the bladder.

If necessary, the surgeon will insert a plastic tube known as stent in the ureter. This tube is important for maintaining the flow of urine during the first day of the new kidney’s functioning. If a stent is used, it will typically be removed in six to 10 weeks after the completion of the kidney transplant surgery.

Once the kidney is positioned and connected to both the circulatory system and the bladder, the incision will be closed either with surgical staples or stitches. The entire surgical procedure will last approximately three hours, unless there are some complications.

Post-Surgical Recovery
Individuals that have undergone kidney transplant surgery will need to recover in hospital settings for anywhere between seven and 10 days. Though most kidneys will start working immediately, in some instances the production of urine will require some time. If this is the case, the patient will have to undergo dialysis in the days after the surgery.

Medicines like diuretics are also used to help the new kidney flush out toxins from the body.

It’s very important for the patient’s immune system to be suppressed after the procedure. Otherwise, it may attack the new organ and cause rejection. Immunity suppressing medications are used for the purpose. Such medications need to be taken over the long run to keep the new kidney functioning.

After leaving the hospital, individuals that have undergone a kidney transplant surgery will need to go back on a regular basis for consultations and medical exams. The kidney function can easily be assessed through testing and a physician will be capable of determining whether there’s any risk of rejection. It is possible for the body to reject the organ after some time, which is why being monitored by an experienced urologist is essential for long-term kidney transplant success.