A Guide On - "Taking the health of your Kidney in your hands after Kidney Transplant"
Life after a Kidney Transplant can be challenging, but there have been new and proven innovations every day in treating patients who have recently undergone a kidney transplant. It is needed to work on a particular schedule after a successful Kidney Transplant to ensure perfect health. It can be a mix of several procedures including minimal surgery, medicines to prevent organ rejection, and specialized procedures.
Read on to know everything about how to take care of your kidney after a kidney transplant.
What is Kidney Transplant?
The two bean-shaped organs found under the ribs on each upper abdomen are known as kidneys. These bean-shaped organs perform their primary function of removing wastes and other unwanted chemicals from the body, which are flushed as urine. In damaged kidneys, these wastes build up in the body and can be extremely harmful. This might result in specific problems such as seizures (convulsions), trouble in breathing, increased blood pressure, body swelling, confusion, fainting, or even death.
A Kidney transplant is done to a damaged kidney with a new kidney donated by a donor (a donor is a person who donates his one kidney to the patient, as per medical studies a person can survive on one kidney as well ).
The kidney transplant cost may vary from country to country. Kidney transplants in India are comparatively lower than the cost of surgery in many other countries, and the various expenses depend upon pre-transplant evaluation, surgery, and other expenses.
What happens during recovery from a kidney transplant?
The kidney transplant procedure is not as complicated as it seems. The kidney transplant survival rate is considerably high because of the close monitoring and prevention of any signs of complications.
Urination with the help of a new kidney can be as similar as done by an old and healthy one. Sometimes, temporary dialysis is also required until your new kidney begins to function correctly.
Do's and Don't s after the kidney transplant procedure
- Do not by any chance lift heavy objects weighing more than 4 kg or do heavy exercises until the wound has healed, which usually takes about six to eight weeks after surgery.
- Frequent checkups are a must as you continue recovering.
- Blood tests must be taken several times a week, and medication must be continued as suggested by your nephrologists.
- Take medicines that can keep the immune system from rejecting your new kidney.
- Strictly avoid smoking and drinking.
Are there any risks of heart diseases after a kidney transplant?
Yes, generally, people with kidney transplants are at greater risk for heart disease. Few factors affecting your kidneys and heart are smoking, diabetes, overweight, hypertension, high cholesterol, and blood lipids.
Staying healthy after kidney transplant
- Since weight gain after a kidney transplant is typical due to medication side-effects, controlling your weight with regular exercise is a must.
- Go on a low salt diet.
- The target blood pressure, as set by experts, for people after undergoing a kidney transplant procedure, is less than 130/80 and that's why you need to keep a close track of your blood pressure.
- Go for regular follow-up visits to check progress on managing your diet or regarding any changes that are needed.
Some important do’s and don’ts after Kidney transplant
Don't forget your Medicines:
Keep a current rundown of your daily meds: Include the numbers and when, how, and why you take those. Always carry your medication list with you if there should arise an occurrence of a crisis.Use nutrients, spices, or food supplements just as coordinated.
Do not forget to take your medication as directed: Call your essential healthcare supplier in case of any medicine dis-functionality. Inform them regarding any medication sensitivities, and seemingly you might need to stop taking or change your medication.
Follow-up visits and keep all appointments.
It's always better to be prepared with a list of questions you want to ask your caregiver during the following visit to them. At times you have different tests, such as blood or urine tests, and it's essential to keep track of them. You also need to remember the change in dose of your medicines, including steroids and other anti-rejection medication, and also how often you need to take the tests.
Bathing with the stitches after kidney transplant:
Always follow your primary caretaker's instructions on when you can bathe. The preferable action for you is to gently wash the part of your body that has the stitches. Strictly do not rub on the stitches while drying your skin. Somewhat pat dry the area with a dry towel. When the place is dry, it's suggested to put on a clean and new bandage as directed.
Blood sugar and blood pressure checks:
Being a diabetic person, it is necessary for you to keep track of your blood sugar level several times a day. For this, you may have to use a blood glucose monitor. This is a small device that can tell you the sugar content in your blood. The monitor uses a drop of blood on your finger. You can write down your blood glucose results in a diary for your caregiver to analyze & tell you how much of that is normal for you.
In case you have high blood pressure, you may need to check and record your blood pressure readings. The nursing staff will teach you or your family about how to measure BP and tell you how often to check it. Track your blood pressure readings and the date and time you took them. Take this record to look after your caregiver.
Diet and drinking liquids:
You should be eating a variety of healthy foods belonging to all the food groups, including bread, vegetables, fruits, milk and dairy products, and protein (beans, eggs, poultry, meat, and fish). This is suggested so that you feel better and gain more energy. Ask your caregiver how much fats, oils, and sweets you might consume each day and whether you need a special diet.
You must change the amount of liquid you drink, follow the advice of your caregiver. You must always consider having enough water, juices, and milk daily after a kidney transplant for a liquid diet. Try to drink enough fluids every day, not just when you feel thirsty.
It will help if you rest when you are in the healing stage after surgery.
Slowly you can begin with your day to day activities.
Follow the instructions to return to your daily activities.
Role of Vaccines:
Ask your caregiver which vaccines are suitable for fighting certain bacteria and when you should be vaccinated. Try to stay away from people infected with colds or flu. This will reduce your chances of getting infected. The medications and treatments you are receiving may lessen your ability to fight infections.
When you follow all these instructions carefully after having a kidney transplant, you will see a great improvement to your. This might sound too much to you now, but trust us, this is important when you wish your kidney transplant to be long-lasting and successful.