A kidney transplant refers to the procedure where a damaged kidney is replaced with a healthy kidney and the donor of the healthy kidney could be a living donor or a deceased one.
The surgery for kidney transplantation usually would take about three hours or so following which the patient is then sent to intensive care for close monitoring for a day or two and then to the Transplant Unit for monitoring procedure.
Generally, the living donor kidney may take 3-5 days to start functioning normally and deceases donor may take 7-15 days and the transplant patients generally may be discharged after five days. Even once the patient is home, it is very important for the patient to limit salt intake. The patient may be on anti rejection medication, which should be taken regularly because rejection in case of transplants is a big cause of worry. A rejection would generally be expected in the first sixty days. These medications may have side effects such as hair loss, diabetes, obesity, or inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract.
Patients can start any activity virtually within reason after six weeks time. In fact, many patients resume driving in three to four weeks after transplantation. Transplant recipients are advised to guard their skin from the sun as they are more likely to develop skin cancer. They are also advised that any new activity be started slowly. Patients who have undergone transplantation can usually consider returning to their work after about six weeks time. This could vary in different individuals. Therefore, it can be said that the average healing time for transplant of a kidney is around 6 weeks.
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