La donación de un riñón
En los Estados Unidos hay casi 100,000 personas en lista de espera para un trasplante renal, y suelen demorar entre tres y cinco años en recibir el riñón. Sin embargo, uno de sus amigos o seres queridos puede donarles un riñón y abreviar esta espera.
Si usted tiene dos riñones sanos, quizá pueda donar uno a alguien para salvarle la vida. Tanto usted como el posible receptor del riñón (la persona que recibiría el riñón) pueden vivir con un solo riñón sano.
¿Cómo puedo donar un riñón?
Si conoce a alguien que necesita un riñón y usted está interesado en donárselo (lo que se llama donación renal en vida):
- Conozca los beneficios y los riesgos de la donación renal en vida.
- Comuníquese con el centro de trasplantes en el cual está registrado el posible receptor.
- El centro de trasplantes hará una evaluación para determinar si usted tiene suficiente salud como para donar el riñón y es compatible con el receptor.
- Si el centro de trasplantes decide que usted está bien de salud yes compatible con el receptor, podría autorizar y programar la donación.
Infórmese de cómo prepararse para la donación renal en vida
Incluso si usted no es compatible con el receptor del riñón, es posible que pueda ayudarlo a través de un intercambio pareado de riñones. Mediante este sistema, usted le dona el riñón a otro receptor a cambio de un riñón que sea compatible para el receptor que a usted le interesa. Si desea participar en un intercambio pareado de riñones, hable con el centro de trasplantes.
También le puede donar el riñón a un desconocido, en lo que se denomina donación en vida no dirigida. Si le interesa la donación no dirigida, comuníquese con un centro de trasplantes local. A usted jamás lo obligarán a donar ningún órgano.
¿Me pagarán por donar el riñón?
No. Recibir pagos por donar un riñón es ilegal en los Estados Unidos y en la mayoría de los países. Casi todos los donantes vivos deciden donar porque quieren ayudar a un familiar o amigo, o simplemente por hacer el bien.
What are the benefits of a living kidney donation?
There is no doubt that being a living donor is a huge benefit to the recipient (the person who gets your kidney). Recipients of a living donor kidney usually live longer, healthier lives compared to those who receive a deceased donor kidney (a kidney from someone who has just died). It is important to recognize there can be benefits to the donor, as well. Some of these are:
- Saving the life of another person
- Giving a renewed and improved quality of life to another person
- Greater understanding of your own health or health conditions
What is a kidney donation surgery?
If you want to be a living donor, you will need to have a medical exam with blood tests to be sure you are healthy enough to donate a kidney. Some of the tests needed may include:
- Blood tests
- Urine tests
- Pap smear/ gynecological exam
- Colonoscopy (if over age 50)
- Screening tests for cancer
- Antibody test
- Electrocardiogram (EKG) which looks at your heart
- Other image testing like a CT scan
- You are also required to meet with a psychologist and an Independent Living Donor Advocate to be sure you are mentally and emotionally ready to donate one of your kidneys.
If you are found to be healthy, and your antibodies and blood type are well-matched to the person getting your kidney, you may be approved to schedule your transplant surgery.
What are the financial implications of kidney donation?
Being a living kidney donor can be very rewarding. You may get to help a loved one regain their health, give a friend the chance to get off dialysis or even save a stranger's life. If you are a person with kidney disease and trying to decide if a transplant is right for you, you might be wondering how it could affect your life. Learn about the financial implications of kidney donation.
What are the risks of a living kidney donation?
As a kidney donor, your risk of having kidney failure later in your life is not any higher than it is for someone in the general population of a similar age, sex or race.
On average, donors have 25-35% permanent loss of kidney function after surgery.
It is important to recognize that there are risks with any type of surgery, which the transplant team will explain to you in detail. Some of these include:
- Feeling tired
- Blood clots
- Nerve injury
- Bowel obstruction
Some people who donate an organ may experience anxiety, depression or fear after the surgery. Financial stress can also come as a result of donation, as you may need to take time off from work. Talk to the transplant team during the evaluation process to find ways to manage these stresses.
Getting a kidney transplant
What are the types of living kidney donations?
If you need a new kidney, consider a living donor kidney transplant. A kidney transplant from a living donor will last longer than a transplant from a donor who has died (a deceased donor). And your transplant can happen as soon as you and your living donor are ready!
A living donor kidney transplant is a surgery to give you a healthy kidney from someone who is still alive. On average, living kidney donor transplants last 15 to 20 years. Deceased donor transplants last 10 to 15 years on average. Each year, about 4 out of every 10 donations (40%) are from living donors.
Who is eligible for a transplant?
Before you know if you qualify for a kidney transplant, you must have a full health evaluation by a transplant team at a transplant center. The evaluation will help the transplant team decide if you are ready for the kidney transplant. If the transplant team decides you are ready, the next step will be for your transplant team to help you find a kidney match.
On the day of the evaluation, you and your family will meet the members of the transplant team. The evaluation may take only one day, or it could take several days.
You will need to have several health tests and exams at the transplant center before the transplant team can decide whether the surgery will be safe for you.
Life after transplant: Health outcomes, rejection prevention and healthy tips
Getting a kidney transplant can feel like having another chance at life. There are many great things that come after a transplant, like having better health and more freedom to do the things you enjoy. However, it is important to remember a transplant is a treatment for kidney disease, not a cure, and you will need to take special care of yourself, and your transplanted kidney.
Here is what you should know about life after a transplant:
Kidney transplant in children
Each year, an estimated 1 out of every 65,000 children in the United States has kidney failure. Children with kidney failure have a different experience with this disease than adults.
Kidney failure can have a negative impact on a child's growth, bone strength, and nerves. The kidneys are our body's filters, so when the kidneys do not work in the right way, too much waste can build up that is supposed to be filtered out. This can affect a child's brain development and function, causing learning disabilities.
Kidney transplant is considered the best treatment option for adults, as well as children, who have kidney failure. Having a kidney transplant means your child would not have to do dialysis, which takes up lots of time and could disrupt your child's social and school life.