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Haemodialysis and

                                                                             Peritoneal Dialysis
                                                                              – A Guide for Patients

                                  COMPLICATIONS OF KIDNEY TRANSPLANTATION

           l A kidney transplant does not last forever. On       developing heart disease. Your kidney team
              average, it lasts 14 to 16 years. If the           will, therefore, take great care to ensure that
              transplant fails your doctors will aim to put      your blood pressure and cholesterol are kept
              you back on the transplant list for another        in the normal range. This may frequently
              kidney transplant.                                 require you to take medications.

           l The transplant operation is a significant        l Cancer.
              undertaking and the risk of dying from the         After a kidney transplant, the risk of most
              procedure is about 3%.                             forms of cancer is increased compared to the
                                                                 general population. There are two particular
           l Infection is an important problem after             forms of cancer which cause particular
              transplantation. In the first 6 months, you are    concern - skin cancer and lymphoma (a form
              at risk of developing a viral infection called     of cancer of the lymph glands).
              CMV. If your doctor determines, by a                  Skin cancer will develop in up to 25% of
              blood test, that you are at risk of CMV, he        kidney transplant recipients, mostly in
              will prescribe a 3 month course of                 sun-exposed skin of the hands and face. This
              Valgancyclovoir, which is very effective at        is usually easily treated with local excision or
              preventing it. You will also be prescribed a 3     by freezing it. This form of cancer can be
              month course of Septrin to prevent you             dramatically reduced by avoiding sun
              developing a lung infection call Pneumocystis      exposure and wearing high factor sun block.
              (PCP). Even after the first 3 months there is        The other form of cancer we worry about
              an increased risk of bacterial infections of the   is lymphoma, which occurs in about 1 in 200
              skin, lungs and urine.                             transplant patients (0.5%). This is a serious
                                                                 problem that requires reduction or elimin-
           l Cardiovascular Disease.                             ation of immunosuppressant drugs and
              After a kidney transplant, you are at a higher     might also require chemotherapy and
              risk than the general population of                radiotherapy.

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