You may have been recommended for a kidney transplant by your nephrologist. This is a serious procedure, and very often you may have to wait for a long time for donor’s kidney. As such, you have to take much care to prepare for the transplant.
After you are recommended a kidney transplant, the first and most important thing to do is to get registered with the national wait-list of organ donors.
Check List for Waiting List
- You have to select a transplant centre (your choice or referral by a doctor). Do research on best kidney transplant hospitals in India.
- Select a centre that matches your requirements (experience/ geographical location/ financial suitability).
- Set up an appointment with the centre.
- Following doctor’s diagnosis, get your transplant team to add your name to the national organ waitlist.
- Get a letter of confirmation from the transplant centre conforming name on waiting list.
- If you haven’t heard from transplant team since long, call coordinator for follow-up.
- Complete all scheduled appointments and evaluations for joining a waiting list.
Your transplant team requires conducting some medical tests for putting your name on the list:
- Function test for kidneys.
- Routine lab tests and physical exam.
- Social, familial and medical histories.
- Compatibility testing (blood type/ tissue type and measurement of PRA or Panel Reactive Antibodies).
- Check for active infections (HIV, Hepatitis).
- Urine tests for 24-hours.
- Imaging tests like Ultrasound.
Based on your health, other tests may be necessary. Your team for transplant will inform you about all tests needed to be an organ transplant candidate.
While Waiting On the List
You must keep transplant team updated on:
- Any blood transfusion you undergo
- Change in dialysis treatment
- Any infection or hospitalization
- Gaining or loss of weight
- Change in medications or health status
- Change in location or contact details
- Change in the insurance policy
- Be available all time. Give transplant team a list of phone numbers which can track you 24×7. This includes numbers of friends and family. This is imperative because, as soon as donor organ becomes available, you must agree to the procedure, lest the organ passes onto the next candidate in the list.
- Make a list of items to carry to the hospital. When the time of transplant arrives, you may not have time. So, pack bags in advance.
- Arrange how to get to the hospital. Get someone to drive you or assist you in catching a flight.
- Make plans for being away from home. Let someone handle newspapers, mails, bills, water pants, take care of kids and pets, etc.
- Arrange for a contact person who can convey information about you to relatives and friends, such that you can get sufficient rest.
- Pack for the hospital (slippers, bathrobe, comfortable clothing, list of medications, list of allergies, and a copy of insurance policy, music, books, and photos).
Here are some key details for preparing for transplant:
- Get your finances ready.
- Get educated about the procedure.
- Arrange for support system (family and friends).
- Learn techniques of relaxation.
These are all some aspects of preparing for kidney transplant surgery.