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Debunking kidney donation myths

The kidney is a bean-shaped organ responsible for excretory functions in the human body.

Humans possess two kidneys situated behind the peritoneum with a length of 10-12 cm. The major function of the kidney is the removal of waste materials from the blood. However, due to excessive waste materials, and other associated disease conditions, the kidney fails to perform its work properly, sometimes. Under such situations, patients need a kidney transplant. During this, one of the kidneys is replaced by a healthy kidney of a donor. According to the global reports on organ donation, this is the third most performed organ transplantation followed by liver and heart. Being a complex medical surgery, kidney transplantation is surrounded by numerous misconceptions. Let’s debunk those myths about kidney transplantation.

Myth: Kidney transplantation is an expensive procedure, so stick to dialysis only

Fact: Dialysis, once started, should be continued till the last breath of the patient in regular intervals. So, if you compare the cost, it might overtake the cost of kidney transplantation, which is done once only. So, economically, kidney transplantation is a better option.

Myth: Anybody can donate a kidney.

Fact: Well, this is partially true. When a patient needs kidney transplantation, the doctor asks for relatives to donate one kidney. Brothers, sisters, nephews, nieces, cousins sisters are generally eligible for kidney donation due to chances of matching blood groups. However, in urgent cases, others like friends or spouses can also donate a kidney. But, before donation, the health status of the donor must be examined properly.

Myth: After the kidney transplant, the patient will become too weak to perform essential works

Fact: It is the most common myth about kidney donation. By following rules and eating required foods you can lead a normal life. So, do not worry about your family, you can surely look after them after recovery.

Myth: Patients will be free from any kidney diseases after the kidney transplant.

Fact: Nobody can assure you that you won’t get kidney diseases after a transplant. You surely can. To avoid this, you need to follow a strict diet with regular exercise. Stay away from animal foods and rely on veggies mostly.

Myth: The kidney donor cannot engage in outdoor activities.

Fact: This is absolutely rubbish. The donor can surely resume his/her normal outdoor activities like exercise, sports, and social gatherings after 2 months of surgery. It is completely safe.

Myth: The patient will die immediately if the kidney transplant fails.

Fact: No, the patients don’t die immediately after a failed surgery. First of all, the chances of kidney transplantation failure are only 2% nowadays. Even if it happens, doctors keep the patients on dialysis or opt for another transplantation.

At least 1 lakh (0.1 million) kidney transplantations are performed annually in today’s time. Thanks to modern techniques, the success rate of kidney transplantation has increased to 98%, which is pretty high.

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