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CHAPTER 3










                      RISKS AND BENEFITS








                        FOR THE RECIPIENTS


        BENEFITS
        ● The main benefit to the recipient of a successful kidney
           transplant is usually freedom from dialysis, energy
           levels returning to normal and feeling ‘well’ again.

        ● Although a transplant recipient will always have to take
           medications to prevent the rejection of the kidney, most
           aspects of their lives can return to normal. The
           majority of recipients return to their normal activities of
           daily living and even full-time work.
        ● Long-term kidney transplant survival rates are very
           good for kidneys from living donors, often lasting
           10 – 20 years.

        ● In general, the only way a patient with severe kidney
           disease can avoid a long period of time on dialysis
           is if they have a willing and suitable living donor. This
           varies slightly but the average is 35 months. A living
           kidney transplant can sometimes be organised in 4 to 6
           months and may be planned prior to the person actually
           starting dialysis.

        \
          RISKS
          ● As with any surgical procedure, there are risks      ● Relationship and emotional problems can
            for transplant recipients. This includes the risk      arise within the family for the potential
            of death, which is less than two to three cases        recipient as well as the donor. Potential
            per thousand living transplant recipients.             recipients may feel under pressure from
                                                                   other family members – even the donor – to
          ● Poor blood supply to the kidney or severe
            rejection can cause failure and great                  go ahead with the procedure. It is a topic
                                                                   that needs to be discussed, at length, with
            disappointment to everyone. It is estimated,
            however, that 95% of living kidney transplants         all members of the family. The recipient
                                                                   might feel a sense of guilt about the donor
            are still functioning at one year and many
            patients are fit and well twenty years after           and this needs to be recognised and spoken
                                                                   about.
            surgery.



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