Important Info and Health Tips on Organ Transplant
Why organ transplant?:
When a critical organ in the body is functioning very poorly, and determined to ultimately fail and cause mortality. It is an end state measure after determining suitability of such a procedure on the patient.
Organ transplant offers a recipient a new lease of life in cases where they are determined to not survive due to end stage critical organ failure.
Currently, organ transplant surgery has become highly specialized to cater to a significant population that can be benefitted by organ transplantation.
Finding a donor:
A blood related living donor enables patient to bypass the organ transplant waiting list and less chances of rejection of transplant. Cadaveric donor: the donor is usually deceased and has granted permission for organs to be donated after death.
Once a patient is deemed fit to undergo the organ transplant surgery, attention should be paid to counseling, and financial conditions that accompany such a situation. The waiting time for a patient awaiting an organ transplant from a deceased donor is often the best time to prepare for the organ transplant surgery. Physical fitness, as much as can be achieved, should be aimed for, and any suggested medication regimen should be rigorously followed.
The organ transplant procedure depends completely upon the organ transplant type, and in simple terms, involves the removal of a healthy organ from a donor, either living or deceased, and transplanting this into a patient with end-stage irreversible organ damage. The organ transplant surgery is preceded and succeeded by the use of drugs to prevent transplant rejection, as well as continuous medical evaluation to determine the feasibility of the transplant.
Risks and complications:
Risk of rejection of the transplanted organ is the major risk. postoperative infection, heart failure during the process, excessive bleeding and drug reaction, however, most of these threats are not manifest in most procedures today due to diligence of the teams involve.
Medications, precautions, recovery period and post-operative care after the organ transplant:
Most patients immediately enjoy a better quality of life after an organ transplant, but constant vigilance in terms of lifestyle and medication are strictly necessary and remain a lifelong process for patients who have undergone organ transplantation. Risky behaviours such as smoking, excessive consumption of alcohol, and often any consumption of alcohol, use of recreational drugs, and skipping prescribed medication increase chances of organ transplant failure and morbidity. Medication required after organ transplant is prescribed by the doctor and their team of medical experts and should be followed as a strict regimen. It is also important to schedule regular check-ups with the medical team who have the organ transplant history of the patient.
Immunosuppressant drugs that are prescribed before and after the organ transplant surgery may be subject to change dependent on the patient’s reaction, and some drugs do not perform as well over time. This necessitates regular follow ups with the medical team for the patient to aid in near-complete recovery.
The patient is kept under medical observation for a certain length of time after undergoing the organ transplant process where their condition, response to drugs and vital signs are continuously monitored by the medical team. Once a patient is discharged into the care of family, they are required to follow lifestyle guidance and medication regimens, and come in for regular follow-up medical evaluations.
If all steps are strictly followed, it is possible for patients to live a fulfilling life after an organ transplant.
Listed below are few questions you might be asking if you’re considering organ donation:
Who can donate an organ?
Just about anyone, at any age, can become an organ donor. Anyone younger than age18 needs to have the consent of a parent or guardian. For organ donation after death, a medical assessment will be done to determine what organs can be donated. Certain conditions, such as having HIV, actively spreading cancer, or severe infection would exclude organ donation. Having a serious condition like cancer, HIV, diabetes, kidney disease, or heart disease can prevent you from donating as a living donor.
Do my blood and tissue type have to match the recipient’s?
It’s easier to transplant an organ if the donor and recipient are a good match. The transplant team will give you a series of tests to determine whether your blood and tissue types are compatible with the recipient’s.
How can I become an organ donor?
To donate your organs after death, you can register with your state’s donor. To become a living donor, you can either work directly with your family member or friend’s transplant team, or contact a transplant center in your area to find out who’s in need of an organ. With kidney transplants, it’s sometimes possible to do a “paired” kidney exchange. For instance, if someone wants to donate a kidney to a loved one but isn’t a match, they may be able to donate their kidney to someone else, and in turn their loved one gets a kidney that is a good match from another donor.
If I donate an organ, will I have health problems in the future?
Not necessarily. There are some organs you can give up all or part of without having long-term health issues. You can donate a whole kidney, or part of the pancreas, intestine, liver, or lung. Your body will compensate for the missing organ or organ part.
Pros and Cons of Organ Donation
Pros. Probably the greatest benefit of organ donation is knowing that you’re saving a life. That life might be your partner, child, parent, brother or sister, a close friend, or even a stranger.
Cons. Organ donation is major surgery. All surgery comes with risks such as bleeding, infection, blood clots, allergic reactions, or damage to nearby organs and tissues. It will take some time for your body to recover from surgery.