Kidney Donors Are Giving the Gift of Life in Larger Numbers than Ever due to Safer Surgical Procedures

By Rajiv Tewari, based on inputs from Dr Shafiq Ahmed, Director – Urology, Andrology & Renal Transplant at BLK-MAX Super Speciality Hospital (New Delhi)

Kidney donors are saving lives of their near and dear ones in large numbers in India due to a higher level of awareness and safer techniques for kidney transplant in the past few years. In this age of technology information moves fast and the result is that not only Indians but a large number of patients from South Asia, Mid-East, Africa and Central Asia are coming to India for kidney transplants. and several other challenging surgeries.

I am sharing a couple of stories with the expectation that these stories will increase the awareness about organ donation and also remove a lot of doubts and fears.

Mother Giving the Gift of Life to Daughter

One such heartwarming story of one of my patients is that of Angel. MS Angel Fatima Kennot, from Fiji, discovered her high blood pressure was linked to kidney problems. Lacking medical expertise locally, she sought treatment in India at BLK-Max Super Speciality Hospital. Her mother selflessly donated her kidney, which was a perfect match. The transplant was successful, and Angel’s energy and health improved many folds. Dr. Shafiq Ahmed, Director, Urology, Andrology & Renal Transplant, and his team provided exceptional care, ensuring a positive outcome. Angel’s heartfelt gratitude extends to all involved: Video Link

Sister Saving Her Brother’s Life

After a harrowing journey with kidney disease, Hlaing Win Aung found respite when his sister stepped forward to donate a kidney. Arriving from their home country at BLK-Max Super Speciality Hospital, they met Dr. Sunil Prakash, Principal Director & HOD, Nephrology & Renal Transplant, and Dr. Shafiq Ahmed, Director, Urology, Andrology & Renal Transplant, who leveraged the precision of robotic surgery. The minimally invasive operation meant lower infection risks and quicker recovery, allowing Hlaing to return to a healthier life.

Video Link to Hlaing’s story

“I feel a great sense of gratitude towards the almighty every time I succeed in helping someone live a better life. Patients coming to India, from across the globe, for world class healthcare at affordable prices gives me an even greater sense of gratitude to almighty and a feeling of pride as an Indian There are many such stories which need to be told for encouraging more and more persons to come forward, feel safe and save lives.” Dr Shafiq Ahmed

What and How of Kidney Transplant?

The process of a living donor kidney transplant involves removal of one kidney from the donor and placing into the recipient. God has given us two kidneys and one kidney is enough to keep the body fit and healthy if the donor’s kidneys are in good shape and healthy. One donated kidney is sufficient for replacing two failed kidney. A large number of transplants are now being performed on the basis of living-donor kidney donations. The other kind of kidney donation is done by the relatives from a deceased donor. It is encouraging to note that more and more people are coming forward to donate kidneys and many are even putting in their will as an after death desire.

Living donors reduce the waiting list which can otherwise create complications and further deterioration due to delay. It also avoids dialysis unless it was already initiated. Living donors also increase the survival rates. Like any other surgical operation, the risks associated with transplants include organ rejection and sometimes side effects of medicines which are to an extent managed by the treating doctor.

Donor Evaluation

Genetically related family members are the best suited due to the compatibility factor however others too can donate kidney if they fulfill the medical and legal criteria. In India, Transplantation of Human Organs Act (THOA) 1994 was enacted to provide a system of removal, storage and transplantation of human organs for therapeutic purposes and for the prevention of commercial dealings in human organs. THOA is now adopted by all States except Andhra and J&K, who have their own similar laws. A near-relative (spouse, children, grandchildren, siblings, parents and grandparents) needs permission of the doctor in-charge of the transplant center to donate his organ. (ii) A non-related donor needs permission of an Authorization Committee established by the state to donate his organs.

In certain cases even if the donor is not a good match, a successful transplant is still possible with some medical treatment which basically involves desensitization of the immune system which reduces the risk of rejection. Another alternative in such a case can be paired donation programme. In the case of paired donation the donor donates kidney to someone who is compatible and in exchange the donor’s patient gets a compatible kidney from another person.

Robotic Kidney Transplant

Robotic surgical procedure for kidney transplant is safer and leaves a smaller scar. Traditional procedures the chances of a larger incision increase which can create complications in recovery and cause a lot of pain.  Robotic-assisted kidney transplant on the other hand is minimally invasive however this can be performed only by highly skilled and trained surgeons.  Robotic Surgery takes lesser time compared to traditional open surgery and the patient as well as the donor recovers in much shorter time. It involves less bleeding and the high-definition 3-D Camera gives a much clearer view to the Surgeon. Surgical precision is much higher too as the robotic hands provide higher flexibility and give a firm grip. However this facility is limited to large cities and high end hospitals.

1 Comment

  1. It is a moment of honor for all of us from the very remote area of the country i.e Karnah district Kupwara that one of our brother is serving the country and has achieved such a fame in transplantation of kidney.

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