How Much Does Kidney Transplant Cost?

“The cost of kidney transplants in India starts from USD 13,000 and in Turkey starts from USD 18,000 that’s comparatively lower than the cost for surgery in many other countries.

5-Best-countries-for-kidney-transplant
  • A kidney transplant is a surgical procedure in which a healthy kidney from a living or deceased donor is surgically implanted into a patient whose kidneys are no longer functioning normally.
  • People with acute renal failure usually prefer dialysis, however, by and large, the sole alternative for chronic kidney failure is a kidney transplant.
  • Kidneys are incredibly adaptable organs, and the majority of people may survive with only 15% renal function.
  • Main function of kidney is to create urine, which filters and eliminates moisture, waste, and minerals from the blood.
  • The consistent ratios of waste products in the bloodstream rise, which is responsible for being unwell in the first place.
  • Our kidneys, however, are no longer able to excrete potentially dangerous waste products into the urine when we have full renal failure.

Kidney failure

Kidney malfunction (end-stage renal disease) results when the kidneys lose their capacity to filter, causing dangerous levels of fluid and waste to build up in the body and raising blood pressure.

When the kidneys have lost around 90% of their normal function, the condition is called end-stage renal disease.

There are numerous causes of end-stage renal disease, including:

  • Diabetes.
  • Excessively high blood pressure.
  • Inflammation and ultimately scarring of the tiny filters in the kidneys are symptoms of chronic glomerulonephritis.
  • Kidney polycystic disease (PKD)
  • People with end-stage renal illness require dialysis or a kidney transplant to eliminate waste from their bloodstream in order to survive.

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Cost of kidney transplant Surgery

The cost of a kidney transplant depends on the patient’s health and condition. Additionally, the price of a kidney transplant varies from institution to hospital. Compared to the cost of surgery in many other countries, the average cost of a kidney transplant in developing countries in India is around USD 13,000 – USD 17,000, which includes the pre-transplant evaluation, surgery, and additional costs. Whereas, the cost is substantially high in nations like the United States and the United Kingdom.

India

Type of Kidney transplant Surgery in India Cost
Kidney transplant with open surgery 13,000 – 17,000 USD
Kidney transplant with laparoscopic surgery 17,000 – 23,000 USD
Pre-transplant evaluation tests 1400 – 2800 USD

Turkey

Type of Transplant Compatible Kidney Transplant
Cost 18,000 USD – 20,000 USD
(Dialysis extra) $150 – $200
Donor Requirement Can be a friend (valid information required)/family, same blood group
Stay in Hospital 20-25 Days
Stay in Country 2 Months
Accommodation Cost Starting 20 USD/Day

Inclusions of the package:

  • Total 10 days stay for the recipient (Single Bedded Room)
  • 5 days for the 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
  • Diabetic review & consultation

Package exclusions:

  • Stay over 10 days will be charged additionally for the recipient and 5 days for the donor
  • HLA typing & cross-match test
  • Additional or special medications
  • Corrective surgery other than transplant, if any
  • Invasive cardiac imaging tests or procedures for heart disease, if required postoperatively
NOTE – The cost may differ based on the choices of services and room category opted by the patient.

Types of Kidney Failures

  • Human kidney failure is treated via kidney transplantation, often known as a renal transplant. Patients are put on dialysis when their kidneys quit working.
    Transplanting an organ is an alternative treatment for renal failure.
  • If the kidneys have entirely stopped functioning, a kidney transplant may be the only choice. End-stage renal disease (ESRD) is the term used for this.
  • If there’s ESRD, people will require dialysis to survive, and a kidney transplant can eliminate the dependence on a dialysis machine for the rest of one’s life.
  • Two failing kidneys can be replaced by one healthy kidney. As a result, a living person can now donate one of their kidneys to a person who has ESRD.

Renal failure comes in two different forms:

Acute kidney failure:
Acute renal failure is when the kidneys are suddenly damaged and stop functioning for a brief period of time before partially or totally recovering.

Chronic kidney failure:
Chronic renal failure is a condition in which the kidneys gradually suffer irreparable damage over an extended period of time, sometimes years.

This condition may be brought on by diabetes, hypertension, an infection, or inherited issues.

Advanced chronic kidney failure, in which the kidneys are no longer able to work, is referred to as end-stage renal disease.

Types of Kidneys Donors for Transplants

There are three different transplants if kidney transplantation is circled out to investigate as a therapeutic option.

The transplant team works with the patients to determine which choice is best for them.

Deceased donor:

  • Deceased people serve as cadaveric donors. They are persons who have passed away due to an injury or accident. They are people who have died as a result of an accident or injury.
  • A person who died of brain or heart failure and had at least one solid organ recovered for transplantation.

Donor with expanded criteria (ECD):

  • A deceased donor above the age of 60. Candidates older than 60 or those with a history of diabetes who are older than 50 may be advised to have an ECD kidney.

Living donor:

  • An individual who gives an organ while still living.
  • Unlike, many other types of organ donation, it’s possible to donate a kidney while one is alive because we only need 1 kidney to survive.
  • Blood relatives or those with strong emotional bonds to the transplant applicant may be living donors.
  • Finding a living donor match significantly reduces the waiting period, improves kidney and patient survival after transplantation, and provides patients the freedom to choose the day of surgery.

Eligibility

Each hospital has its own requirements for who can receive a kidney transplant. However, in general, applicants should possess:

  • Being on dialysis and having end-stage renal failure.
  • Chronic renal disease is nearing the point where dialysis is necessary.
  • An anticipated lifespan of at least five years.
  • A thorough comprehension of postoperative care and instructions.
  • There is actually no upper age restriction for kidney transplant recipients, although the majority are between the ages of 45 and 65.
  • However, a doctor would probably opt for a donor who is near the patient’s own age in order to ensure the greatest outcomes.
  • A person may receive two, three, or even four kidney transplants in their lifetime in specific circumstances.
  • If this is a possibility for someone, the doctor can let them know.

Pre-transplant tests for Kidney Transplant

Pre-transplant TestPatientDonor
Blood group (ABO)YesYes
CBCYesYes
Urine routine and cultureYesYes
Liver function TestYesYes
Blood glucoseYesYes
Lipid profileYesYes
Renal function testsYesYes
Screening tests for HbsAg/HCV/HIV/EBV/CMV IgGYesYes
Tissue typing/HLAYesYes
Lymphocyte cross-matchYesYes
Uroflowmetry post-void residueYesYes
CT scan for kidney stone detectionYesYes

 

Apart from the initial laboratory evaluation tests, the patient and the donor will undergo a few more tests to rule out complications arising from underlying medical conditions/comorbidities. 

  • ECG, 2D echocardiography, and cardiac stress test
  • X-ray Chest, ABG (arterial blood gases) & Lung function tests
  • 24 hours urine protein
  • GFR (Filtration rate) measurements
  • Oral GTT (Glucose Tolerance Test)/HbA1c 
  • BT/PT/PTT tests
  • Ultrasonography of abdomen
  • CT angiography or selective renal angiography
  • Psychological evaluation

The Kidney Transplant Procedure

If an appropriate match can be made from a live or cadaveric donor, a kidney transplant can be performed.

The patient is given a general anesthetic for kidney transplant surgery.

Throughout the procedure, the patient’s blood oxygen level, blood pressure, and heart rate are continuously monitored by the surgical team, nurses, and anesthetists.

The steps involved in a kidney transplant are as follows:

  • An incision is created in the bottom region of the abdomen on one side, and the kidney is put within.
  • The failing kidneys are not removed until they produce complications such as discomfort, infections, kidney stones, or hypertension.
  • They remain where they are.
  • Blood vessels from the new kidney are connected to blood vessels in the lower part of the abdomen, just above one of the legs.
  • The ureter, a tube connecting the kidney and bladder, transports urine from the kidney to the bladder where it is stored.
  • The patient’s bladder is connected to this ureter from the new kidney.

The patient will require some time in the hospital following surgery. As they heal, they will also require several checkups, and they could need to take antibiotics and immunosuppressants for the rest of their lives.

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Types of kidney transplantation programs

Paired Exchange Kidney Transplant (or Swap Transplant)

Incompatible Blood Type Kidney Transplant

Positive Crossmatch and Sensitized Patient Kidney Transplant

  • This type of kidney transplant program is an option for patients 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.
  • In this program, patients receive kidneys 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 surgery, including plasmapheresis.
  • 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 the antibody levels. 
  • It can be done through plasmapheresis, removing the antibodies from the blood. When the levels of such antibodies in the patient’s body are successfully lowered, they can then undergo the transplant procedure.

Recovery

  • After a kidney transplant, the patient needs to recover in the hospital for a few days to make sure the new kidney is working properly and that the patient’s body is not rejecting the transplanted kidney.
  • Even though they appear to be well enough to be discharged, they could need to stay in the hospital for 1-2 weeks.
  • The new kidney might start functioning right away or it might take a few weeks for it to do so.
  • Family donors’ kidneys function more quickly than those from unrelated or cadaver donors. As their wounds start to heal, patients experience pain nearby the incision.
  • In order to prevent the body from rejecting the new kidney, they will also take immunosuppressant medications. Aftercare and medication schedule guidelines are provided, and they must be rigorously followed.
  • The amount of physical exercise that the body can handle while it is recovering will be recommended by the doctor.
  • After a kidney transplant, the donor’s diet needs to modify in order for them to stay healthy. The doctor will advise patients on what meals to eat and which to avoid.
  • To maintain health and ensure that the new kidney works effectively after the patient has recovered, they must incorporate moderate activity into their regular regimen.
  • After the transplant, they may start engaging in activities like walking, running, swimming, etc.
  • However, before beginning an exercise program after a transplant, consult the doctor.

Risks

  • Despite the fact that kidney transplantation may cure a number of renal illnesses and kidney failure, it does not completely eliminate the chance of a kidney disease recurring after a transplant.
  • The dangers of a kidney transplant include the procedure itself, the body rejecting the donor kidney, and the side effects of drugs like immunosuppressants that are used to stop the body from rejecting the new kidney.

Kidney transplant complications may include:

  • Infection
  • Ureter Blockage or leakage
  • Donated kidney being rejected by the body
  • Clots of blood
  • Bleeding near the site of the cut
  • Chest pain
  • Stroke
  • Even demise

Success rate of kidney transplant

The success rate of a kidney transplant is affected by a number of variables, including the hospital chosen, the surgical and postoperative care teams’ level of experience, the donor’s tissue compatibility and matching, if the donor is related by blood, and more.

Selecting a facility with the highest standards of hygiene ensures one does not contract any infections because post-surgical infection is a significant risk that can lower the success rate.

In general, success rates are outstanding.

  • When compared to transplants using deceased donors, live donor transplants have a substantially higher success rate.
  • While deceased donor transplants have an annual success rate of 85–90%, living donor transplants have a success rate of 90–95%.
  • Additionally, a donor who is connected to the blood performs better than a donor who is not.
  • Data from cross-matching and HLA typing is a major component of successful kidney transplantation.

Life Expectancy

  • After a kidney transplant, those in the age range of 40 can expect to live for about 22 years, while those in the age group of 50 can expect to live for only 16 years.
  • A successful kidney transplant increases a person’s life expectancy by 11.5 years for those in their 60s.

The strength, endurance, and energy levels increase after a successful kidney transplant. A person is likely to resume a more regular lifestyle and have more control over day-to-day activities after the transplant. They can consume fluids and eat whatever they want.

Before the transplant, if one had to rely on dialysis, they’re going to have greater freedom because they won’t be constrained by regular dialysis schedules.

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