When an individual's kidneys fail, three treatment options are hemodialysis
, peritoneal dialysis
and kidney transplantation
. Many patients feel that a successful kidney transplant provides a better quality of life because it allows greater freedom and often is associated with increased energy levels and a less restricted diet.
There are two types of kidney transplants: those that come from living donors and those that come from unrelated donors who have died or non-living donors.
The most important complication that may occur after transplant is rejection of the kidney. The body's immune system guards against attack by all foreign matter, such as bacteria. This defense system may recognize tissue transplanted from someone else as foreign and attack the foreign tissue (transplanted kidney).
Results of transplantation are improving steadily with research advances. In the event that a transplanted kidney fails, a second transplant may be a good option for many patients.
Kidney transplants, like other treatments for kidney failure, often require following special diet guidelines. If someone is on dialysis before transplant, the diet which is recommended after transplant is less restricted. The length of time must follow the special diet varies. Progress will be followed closely, consulting doctor and dietitian will modify diet as needed.