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Renal Transplant

Kidney transplants have revolutionised life for many people with kidney failure. Dialysis only keeps you OK - a successful transplant restores your health.

Symptoms of Kidney disease
* Symptoms may include: 
* Fluid retention 
* Shortness of breath 
* Change in mental status 
* Abnormal urine or blood test results 
* Headache 
* High blood pressure 
* Fatigue

Why a Transplant is necessary
A number of diseases can directly damage the kidney. Damage to the kidney can seriously affect the removal of water and waste products, production of red blood cells, regulation of blood pressure and balance of electrolytes such as potassium, calcium and phosphorus. If the damage is severe enough, transplantation may be necessary. A transplant provides a patient with a kidney that can keep up with the demands of a full, active life.
Pretransplant Evaluation 
Pretransplant tests, as well as giving a clear picture of the patient's overall health status, help in identifying potential problems before they occur. They also help in determining whether transplantation is truly the best option. This increases the likelihood of success.
Surgery Procedure 
The patient will be under general anesthesia throughout the surgery. Once asleep, the transplant surgeon will make an incision on the right or left side of the lower abdomen just above the groin. The surgical team will then place the donor kidney into the abdomen and connect the kidney's blood vessels to the recipient's iliac artery and vein. The surgeons will then connect the ureter to the bladder. A small drain, called a Jackson Pratt, may be placed into the          abdominal cavity to drain any excess fluid. 

Signs to Watch Out For
While primary concerns involve infection and rejection, many other problems, such as colds or flu, adjustment of other medications, and minor infections can be handled by a local physician. A patient needs to take precautions and learn to watch for signs of infection and rejection that necessitate notifying a local physician or transplant team immediately. These include: 
* a fever that continues for more than 2 days 
* shortness of breath 
* a cough that produces a yellowish or greenish substance 
* a dry cough that continues for more than 1 week 
* prolonged nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea 
* an inability to take prescribed medication
* a rash or other skin changes
* pain, redness, tenderness or swelling at the incision site
* vaginal discharge or itching
* fluid retention/weight gain (2 lbs. in 24 hours) 
* burning discomfort with urination 
* decrease in urine output
* exposure to mumps, measles, chicken pox, or shingles
* pain or burning during urination 
* unusual weakness or light-headedness
* blood in the urine 
* emergency-room treatment or hospitalization 
* strong odor to the urine