Cost of Kidney Transplant in India

Last Modified: June 9, 2020  |   Created on: June 9, 2020

Kidney transplant is one of the most commonly performed organ transplantation procedures. This procedure is recommended to patients who have end-stage renal failure, also known as kidney failure, which means their kidney functions have stopped. Patients are put through dialysis, a machine through which blood is passed for filtration. Although, dialysis can help maintain kidney functions in patient’s body, it is time-consuming and dependent process. Kidney transplantation is long-term solution for treating kidney failure, and even more cost-effective than regular dialysis. 

During a renal transplantation procedure, a healthy kidney from a suitable donor is transferred into the patient’s body. The new kidney will restore the renal functions of purifying the blood of the toxin and waste material in the body. A donation and transplantation of a kidney is possible as a person can survive with only one fully functional kidney. This procedure can prolong and improve quality of life of the patient, who may otherwise not even survive with failed kidneys.

Kidney-transplant-surgery

Kidney Transplant Cost in India

The cost of kidney transplant in India starts from USD 13000, including pre-transplant evaluation, surgery and other expenses, which is comparatively lower than the cost for surgery in many other countries. Indian hospitals are renowned for providing the most economical, yet high-quality, range of healthcare packages to patients seeking treatment from abroad. A patient from the USA, UK or other European countries can save a significant amount of money if they choose to travel to India for their treatment.

The overall cost of kidney transplant surgery in India may vary for different hospitals based on a number of factors. Although, the evaluation cost and basic surgical cost remain almost similar for most patients, there are some cost defining parameters that can fluctuate the price of health package:

Choice of hospital: Particularly, its location and accreditations. The kidney transplant hospitals in Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai and the major cities of India are well-connected to the airports and have excellent transport facilities. Many of these hospitals have accreditation from Joint Commission International (JCI), one of the world’s most trusted quality benchmark for healthcare centres. The cost of surgery might be more at such hospitals, but with standard of patient services are competitive to the best centres of the world.

Type of transplant/donor: This is also an important consideration as the cost for donor evaluation and surgery will also add up in case of an unrelated donor for kidney transplant. The ABO Incompatible Kidney Transplant is advanced type for transplantation procedure that can be done without a blood type match. However, with this type of transplant, first the antibodies in the patient’ body against the donor blood group has to be removed using techniques such as plasmapheresis or immunoadsorbtion. Therefore, this type of transplant may cost more in comparison to transplant done for the same blood group recipient and donor.

Surgeon’s experience: Another critical cost impacting factor is the qualifications and experience of the surgeon. The best kidney transplant surgeons in India have completed their medical education and training from the top national and international institutions. They are highly sought after for their expertise and knowledge in this field.

Length of hospital stay: Transplant recipients have to stay in the hospital for a few days for proper recovery and healing. This time allows the medical team to keep a keen eye on the patient for symptoms of rejection or other complications. A patient may have to stay in the hospital longer depending on speed of recovery and whether there are any complications or not.

Room category: There are various types of rooms, including single, twin-sharing, triple sharing, and deluxe at different hospitals. So, the cost varies for different room categories.

Additional test and medications: If required, these will add-on to the total cost of package. Generally, the donor and recipient undergo a series of tests, which could take 7-15 days (depending on the condition and what is found during evaluation), prior to transplantation.

Other factors: Choice of accommodation and length of stay in India (depending on patient’s recovery), extra travel plans, food and other miscellaneous expenses also contribute in the total cost.

The cost package breakdown and inclusions:

Kidney Transplant PackageApproximate Cost in India
Pre-transplant evaluation of recipient and donorUSD 2000 – USD 3000 
Kidney Transplant SurgeryUSD 10000
Misc. AmountApproximately USD 600
The approximate cost would be90-100 USD per session (on Day Care Basis)

 

Total Package cost USD 13000 – onwards

The package compositions may vary for different hospitals, but usually have:

Inclusions of the package:

  • Total 10 days stay for recipient (Single Bedded Room)
  • 5 days for donor (Twin Sharing room)
  • One day pre operative & nine days post-operative.

For both Donor & Recipient 

  • Post-operative lab tests
  • Post-operative testing and Imaging radiology service
  • OT/Ward consumables, Machine and OT Charges
  • Blood Transfusion services
  • Surgeon’s fee
  • Anesthesia Service
  • Stent removal
  • Graft biopsy
  • Diabetology review & consultation

Package exclusions:

  • Stay over 10 days will be charged additionally for recipient and 5 days for donor
  • HLA typing & cross match
  • Additional or special medications
  • Corrective surgery other than transplant, if any
  • Invasive cardiac imaging tests or procedure for heart disease, if any required post operatively

NOTE: The cost may differ on the basis of the choices of services and room category opted by the patient.

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Kidney Transplant in India

India is one of the leading countries when it comes organ transplantation procedures. Every year, numerous patients from different parts of the world seek best kidney transplant in India, and other procedures such as liver transplant and bone marrow transplant. The top hospitals in the Delhi and other cities have dedicated centres for care of organ transplant patients and donors. They have highly sophisticated Operating Theatres (OTs) with stringent infection control protocols and advanced patient management systems for active care. 

These advanced technologies and the expertise of the best surgeons are the major reasons behind the high success rate of kidney transplant in India. Patients can be assured of receiving warm hospitality services and compassionate care from the medical staff and surgeons at the hospitals. 

The top kidney transplant hospitals in India such as Indraprastha Apollo, Fortis Group, BLK Hospital and several others, have large and comprehensive kidney transplant programmes. 

Legal documents required for both recipients and donors: 

  • Birth Certificate mentioning name of the father and mother 
  • I.D. Proof – passport
  • Consent from recipient 
  • Affidavit from recipient and donor 
  • Local address proof
  • Passport size photos 
  • Proof of Income stability for 3 years
  • Approval from the home country embassy in India 
  • Police verification for address and criminal records
  • All affidavit attested by the notary public

How can Lyfboat assist you getting Kidney Transplant in India?

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Lyfboat is a free advisory platform; we do not charge any fees from patients. In fact, we negotiate the price that Indian hospitals offer. In some cases we are able to reduce the cost by negotiating upto 20% of what Hospitals generally offer. We advise the best treatment from the top hospital/surgeon at best price.

Who can be a Kidney Transplant Candidate?

When the kidney function drops less than 15 percent of normal, the patient is known to have kidney failure. If this continues over a period of time (chronically), it can result into end-stage renal disease (ERSD). The accumulation of toxic waste product can cause a variety of have symptoms and complications in the body. To restore the lost kidney function, the doctor recommends following treatment options: hemodialysis, peritoneal dialysis, and kidney transplant. 

Dialysis has to be carried out on regular intervals to remove the waste product from the body. This makes patient dependent on the dialysis schedule and may impact quality of life when the number of dialysis required per week are more. Kidney tranpslant is an option for patients of all ages, from children to seniors. However, they have to go through a detailed list of tests to evaluate their eligibility for the surgery and check if the procedure does not pose any risk to their health. 

End-stage renal disease (ESRD) is kidney failure that is treated by dialysis or kidney transplant.

Some conditions which are commonly known to cause damage to kidneys, resulting in ESRD are:

  • Diabetes mellitus (type 2 diabetes)
  • High blood pressure
  • Glomerulonephritis (inflammation of the kidney’s filtering units)
  • Polycystic Kidney Disease
  • Repeated urinary infections
  • Hemolytic uremic syndrome, a rare disorder that can cause kidney failure
  • Diseases of the immune system such as Lupus 
  • Obstructions in the urinary tract
  • Other conditions, such as congenital defects of the kidneys, may result in the need for a kidney transplant.

Kidney failure may cause following symptoms:

  • Swelling in the legs, feet, or ankles
  • Headaches 
  • Itchiness 
  • Getting tired quickly during the day and have problems falling asleep at night
  • Nausea
  • Loss of sense of taste and appetite, or unintentional weight loss 
  • Little or no urination
  • Muscle cramps and weakness, along with numbness
  • Pain, stiffness, or fluid in the joints

Who might not be eligible to receive a kidney transplant?

Certain conditions may not allow a person to be a candidate for receiving a kidney transplant:

  • Untreatable heart disease
  • Prior history of metastatic cancer or if a person is undergoing chemotherapy
  • Systemic infections that are still active 
  • Unmanageable physiological condition
  • Active substance abuse
  • Ongoing problem with neurological impairment associated with significant loss of cognitive skills and there are no surrogate/proxy medical decision maker

Types of donors 

Cadaveric donor: The kidney can be sourced from a person who has died in an accident and has viable options for a transplant. Such people are declared brain-dead, because their brain has stopped functioning, and they are legally dead. The person must be a consented donor or their family/next of kin must give a consent for organ donation. The kidney is removed from the dead person’s body, frozen and transported to the transplant facility for the surgery.

Living donor: As humans can survive and have a healthy life with only one kidney. A living donor is mostly a family member, relative or a friend who choose to donate one of his/her kidney to the patient in need. A related living donor is more preferable as they are usually a better match for the transplant and there are lesser chances of patient’s body rejecting the new kidney.

Kidney transplant donor candidates:

A donor should be between 18 to 65-70 years of age and consenting to donate one kidney. Their overall health status should be good and the surgery should not have any risk to their health. The donors undergo a detailed medical evaluation to determine their suitability to give a kidney.

There are certain health conditions that may prevent a person from being eligible to donate kidney for transplantation surgery, including:

  • Old age
  • A severe cardiovascular disease
  • Active or a history of recently treated cancer
  • Uncontrolled mental illness
  • Active alcohol or substance abuse
  • Any other health factor that may affect their ability to safely undergo the surgery or take postoperative medications/care

Tests for evaluation of Matching factors between kidney donor and recipient

The donor candidates are matched with recipient for blood type, tissue type and other factors.

Blood typing: This test is done to match the blood types of the recipient and donor. They should either have the same or compatible blood type. For blood type compatibility:

Recipient Blood typeDonor Blood type
Group AA or O
Group BB or O
Group ABA, B, AB, O
Group OO

 

However, incompatible blood type donations can now be done. The patients will have to take additional medical treatment before and after the kidney transplant surgery. Also, the chances of rejection of the new kidney by the patient’s body is higher in this type of transplant.

Tissue Typing

The second test is human leukocyte antigens (HLA), which is a tissue typing. HLA are antigens/protein markers found on most cells of the body. These antigens allow the body to distinguish self cells from foreign particles. These markers are genetically transferred or inherited from the parents. 

For kidney transplantation, the recipient’s markers should match with the donor’s markers, and when all are same, it is called a perfect match kidney. These transplants have the best chance of lasting many years and majority of perfect match kidney donors are siblings. Partial or absent HLA match having some degree of mismatch between the recipient and donor can also be considered.

Crossmatch

Antibodies are produced by the body to fight and destroy foreign materials, such as infectious agents. They are made each time when there is an infection, during pregnancy, after a blood transfusion, or a kidney transplant. If body produces antibodies against the donor kidney, they may destroy the kidney. So a donor kidney is tested for a crossmatch to ensure the recipient does not have pre-formed antibodies that can harm the new kidney.

A positive crossmatch means that there are antibodies in recipient’s body against the donor and the recipient will have to undergo special treatment before transplantation to reduce the antibody levels. A negative crossmatch means it is safe to receive donor kidney.

Serology

This test is done to check for viruses, such as Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), Hepatitis, and Cytomegalovirus (CMV). If there is such infection, a proper preventive medication regime is delivered after transplant.

Types of kidney transplantation programs

Paired Exchange Kidney Transplant (or Swap Transplant)

This type of kidney transplant program is an option for patient if their blood or tissue types do not match with the donor. A paired exchange is done when the patients have willing but incompatible donors, and they are allowed to exchange kidneys with one another. This means the kidneys go to different recipients than initially planned for. There are two kidney transplants and two donor surgeries that take place on the same day at the same time.

Incompatible Blood Type Kidney Transplant

In this program, patients receive kidney from a living donor with an incompatible blood type. For such kidney transplants, recipients have to take several treatments or medications before and after the transplant. This is to remove the antibodies that can cause rejection of the new kidney. It is done through plasmapheresis, a process similar to dialysis. In this, harmful antibodies are first removed from the patient’s blood. Patients undergo multiple plasmapheresis treatments before the transplantation, and may require more after the surgery to keep the antibody levels down. 

Sometimes, the doctors may also have to remove patient’s spleens during the transplant surgery to reduce the number of immune cells that produce antibodies. 

Positive Crossmatch and Sensitized Patient Kidney Transplant

This program allows kidney transplants in patients who have developed antibodies against their kidney donors, i.e. positive crossmatch.

It is similar to blood type-incompatible kidney transplants, as patients receive special treatment to decrease their antibody level. It can be done through plasmapheresis, removing the antibodies from the blood. When the levels of harmful antibody in the patient’s body are successfully lowered, they can then undergo the transplant procedure.

Success rates for Incompatible Blood type kidney transplants and positive crossmatch/sensitized patient kidney transplants are known to be close to that of transplants with compatible living donors.

What happens during the kidney transplant surgery?

Before the transplant:

The transplant team will conduct many tests for organ transplant recipient to ensure they are healthy enough for the surgery. Apart from matching tests, following are also included in the evaluation process:

  • Physical exam
  • Imaging tests, such as X-ray, MRI or CT scans
  • Blood tests
  • Psychological evaluation
  • Any other tests that seems necessary to asses patient’s condition 

A kidney transplant process has following steps:

  • The patient will arrive at the hospital and change into hospital clothes. An intravenous (IV) line will be put along with more catheters and wires to monitor the status of your heart and blood pressure, and ports to take out blood samples. A urinary catheter is also inserted into the bladder.
  • Then the patient is positioned to lie on their back on the operating table
  • General anaesthesia is administered so that patient remain asleep and feel no pain during the procedure. The anaesthesiologist keeps a close watch on the breathing, heart rate, blood pressure, and blood oxygen level during the operation.
  • After cleaning the incision site with an antiseptic solution, the surgeon will make a cut on one side of the lower abdomen.
  • The donor kidney is then placed into the abdomen and usually the patient’s damaged kidney will be left if it is not cause any further harm. The new kidney is implanted on the appropriate side, allowing easy access to the ureter for connection to your bladder.
  • The surgeon will then connect the renal artery and vein of the donor kidney to the external iliac artery and vein with sutures. The blood flow through these vessels will then be restored and the connection is checked for bleeding at the suture lines.
  • The part of the donor kidney’s ureter, the tube that drains urine from the kidney, is connected to the bladder. 
  • Then, the incision is closed with stitches or surgical staples, and a tube is put in the incision site to drain the fluid and reduce swelling. The surgeon will then place a sterile bandage or dressing on the incision site.

What to expect after the kidney transplant surgery?

The patients are closely monitored during the post transplant period to check their kidney functions, and look out for early signs of rejection. The medical team will adjust the various medications according to the patient’s need. As the patient is administered immunosuppressive medications, they are more prone to infections post transplant. The transplant team keeps a constant check for the increased incidence of immunosuppression associated effects such as infections and cancer.

Risks and complications of kidney transplant surgery:

Some possible complications of the surgery include:

  • Bleeding/blood loss
  • Infection
  • Blockage or injury to the blood vessels connected the new kidney
  • Urine leakage or blockage in the ureter
  • Lack of function of the new kidney 

Rejection is another complication that can occur after transplantation and up to 30% of people who receive a kidney transplant have reported to have some degree of rejection. It occurs when the immune system of the recipient’s body identifies the new kidney as foreign object and tries to destroy it. 

Most rejections are acute, occurring within six months post surgery, but they can be chronic, occurring even years later. Early detection and treatment can reverse the rejection in most transplant cases.

Medicines required:

Anti-Rejection Medications: These are also known as immunosuppressives. It helps prevent and treat rejection, when the immune system attacks the new kidney. These drugs lowers the immune system and prevents it from targeting the transplanted kidney. 

They are required for the lifetime after the transplant. 

Some other medications that might be prescribed after a kidney transplant include Anti-inflammatory drugs, Anti-proliferative Medications, Antilymphocyte medications and more. A combination of drugs are prescribed to the recipient depending on their specific transplant needs.

Dr. Suneet Singh

Written By Dr. Suneet Singh

Dr. Suneet is a doctor-turned-Hospital Administrator with a rich 12 years plus multi-faceted experience in the field of operations management, Corporate and Public Health Administration. Formerly a practicing doctor, Dr. Suneet holds a post-graduate degree in Hospital and Healthcare management from one of the country's esteemed Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS)
Dr. Surbhi Suden

Verified By Dr. Surbhi Suden

Dr. Surbhi Suden is one of the founders of Lyfboat and a doctor with a renowned name in the Medical tourism industry. She has been working with international patients since 2008 and is a deeply committed professional with a long term vision of transforming the current healthcare scenarios.

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Dr. Suneet Singh

Written By Dr. Suneet Singh

Dr. Suneet is a doctor-turned-Hospital Administrator with a rich 12 years plus multi-faceted experience in the field of operations management, Corporate and Public Health Administration. Formerly a practicing doctor, Dr. Suneet holds a post-graduate degree in Hospital and Healthcare management from one of the country's esteemed Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS)
Dr. Surbhi Suden

Verified By Dr. Surbhi Suden

Dr. Surbhi Suden is one of the founders of Lyfboat and a doctor with a renowned name in the Medical tourism industry. She has been working with international patients since 2008 and is a deeply committed professional with a long term vision of transforming the current healthcare scenarios.

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