When chronic kidney disease progresses to the point where even dialysis is no longer effective, a doctor may recommend a kidney transplant. Kidney transplants are one of the most common transplant procedures in the United States and the donated kidney may come from a living related donor (your body only need one well-functioning kidney), or a living unrelated donor or a deceased donor that is a match to your blood type.

The most important thing to remember when receiving a kidney transplant, even from a relative, is that the body will inevitably try to reject the new organ initially. Therefore it is vital that post-operative kidney recipients take anti-rejection medicine exactly as prescribed for the duration of the prescription.

Transplant rejection is a normal response from a body’s immune system. It will detect the new organ as foreign matter and will try to attack it to keep it from infecting your body. Anti-rejection medicine lowers a patient’s immune system to keep the body from doing what it’s naturally supposed to do naturally.

Because anti-rejection medicine lowers the immune system, kidney transplant patients are also susceptible to infections and viruses. It’s best to limit a patient’s exposure to other people to a minimum, especially those who have colds or flu symptoms.

Transplant patients should was their hands frequently to avoid prolonged contact with germs and should check with their doctor immediately in the event that sores or bruises appear that do not heal, they experience urinary tract problems such as a frequent urge to urinate, pain or burning while urinating or if urine is cloudy or bloody, or if respiratory symptoms arise such as coughing, nasal congestion, sore throat or any time a fever is present.

The doctors at Peninsula Kidney Associates will also recommend dietary changes to help prolong the life of the new kidney and the patient who receives it.