Kidney Transplants

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  • Created by: Siobhan
  • Created on: 15-01-13 21:11
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Kidney Transplants
A person with kidney failure can have a kidney transplant. This involves introducing a
healthy kidney from a matching donor.
The new kidney is able to take over the functions of the failed kidneys.
The donor kidney is connected near the patient's bladder. (The old kidneys are left in
the body, as it would be difficult to remove them and there is the possibility of
damaging the adrenal glands).
Risks & Side effects
One of the main worries with transplants is the possibility of rejection ­ When the
patients' own immune system recognises the new kidney as non-self and attacks it.
In order to reduce the risk of rejection the donor and the recipient are closely
matched by blood group and tissue type. (Antigens on the surface of every cell
determine tissue type).
The recipient will also be given immunosuppressant drugs for the rest of their lives.
These drugs weaken the immune system and prevent it from attacking the donated
In order to combat the shortage of kidneys available for donation scientists are
developing xenotransplantation - The transplantation of an organ from one species
to another, (in this case transplanting a pigs kidney into a human).
Advantages Disadvantages
No Dialysis. Risk of rejection.
Can live a relatively normal life, as there are very Immunosuppressant drugs must be taken for
few limitations on the way a patient lives after. the rest of their lives.
Need to wait for a matching donor to be found.


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