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Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences, Kochi, has been having a very successful kidney transplantation program. Over a very short span of a few years, this institution has been able to offer kidney transplantation to over 500 patients at a low cost. State-of-the-art facilities are provided to the patients who undergo kidney transplantation. The institute accepts only first degree relatives as kidney donors for their near ones. AIMS has permission from the appropriate authority, Government of Kerala, to do related donor kidney transplants. So far, the transplant unit has carried out 20 deceased donor (Cadaver Donor) transplantations as well.
The term “End Stage Renal Disease” refers to a condition where a patient has permanently lost over 90% of his/her kidney functions. This is a stage where patient needs to undergo lifelong dialysis or Kidney Transplantation. The common causes of end stage renal disease are diabetes mellitus, hypertension, glomerulonephritis, kidney stones, recurrent urinary infections and some inherited kidney diseases. A successful transplantation provides these patients a good quality of life and they would be able to carry out their normal daily activities very well.
In India, more than 1,00,000 new patients develop end stage renal disease every year. At least half of these patients are fit to undergo kidney transplantation. Of these 50,000 patients, about 3500 to 4000 undergo kidney transplantation in our country every year; the remaining do not have a suitable related donor to donate a kidney. The only way to help these unfortunate patients is to increase cadaver organ donation.
The Hemodialysis unit prepares the patients for the transplant surgery; the unit has the latest computerized dialysis machines and monitors to ensure patient safety. The renal transplant team includes Nephrology, Urology, Anesthesiology, Vascular Surgery units as well as Transplant Co-ordinators, Medical Social Workers, Physician Assistants and Dieticians. The recipient and the donor go through the process of counseling and pre- transplant evaluation according to a protocol. Pre-transplant evaluation is done to ensure that the patient is fit for transplant surgery.
The first-degree relative donors (parents, siblings, and children) or spouse has to be a healthy adult of either gender, between 20 and 60 years of age.
AIMS has well equipped and most modern operation theaters where very experienced and qualified Anesthesiology, Urology and Vascular surgery teams work help to provide a safe surgical procedure for patients. The surgical teams have been doing laparoscopic donor nephrectomy (removal of kidney using laparoscope) for the last ten years. This procedure reduces the length of the operative scar and pain associated with surgery; this allows the kidney donor to get discharged early and resume his/her activities.
After surgery, the patients are managed in a dedicated Intensive Care Unit, where patients are looked after by a team of trained Nurses, Nephrologist and transplant surgeons. A well planned protocol based postoperative care helps in prompt recovery after the surgery. Transplant recipients are followed up on a regular basis by the transplant team.