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  • Mount Elizabeth

Living Donor Kidney Transplant (LDKT)

  • Understanding the Procedure

    Living Donor Kidney Transplant (LDKT)

    Living donor kidney transplant (LDKT) is a surgical procedure that involves the transplant of a kidney from a living person (the donor) to someone with end-stage kidney failure (the recipient). Our multi-disciplinary team of specialists, including 15 skilled nephrologists and urologists as well as specialised nursing staff, are experienced in transplanting the donor’s kidney into the recipient’s lower pelvis, often without the removal of the recipient’s own kidneys. The donor does not have to be genetically related to the recipient.

    To ensure a better survival outcome, your specialist will first need to determine if you and the donor are suitable candidates for LDKT. The surgery can be scheduled as soon as you are both deemed fit enough to undergo the procedure.

    Our LDKT programme offers open and laparoscopic surgeries and surgical interventions including acute and chronic disease management, end-stage disease management and kidney transplantation. We undertake complicated transplantations for blood group incompatible and positive cross-match (sensitised) patients, and we are also one of the first hospitals to offer such solutions in Southeast Asia.

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  • Kidney failure treatment

    When chronic kidney failure reaches end stage, you will need either a kidney transplant or dialysis therapy to stay alive.

    There are 2 types of dialysis:

    • The first, haemodialysis, is known as ‘blood washing’. A dialysis machine filters the blood and infuses it back into the body. Typically, patients undergo a 4-hour haemodialysis session at least 3 times a week at a dialysis centre, or more rarely, at home. To connect to the dialysis machine, doctors will either create an arteriovenous (AV) fistula by connecting a vein to an artery in the patient’s arm, or surgically implant a catheter into the chest.
    • Peritoneal dialysis, sometimes called ‘water dialysis’, is the second type. Patients typically undergo this treatment at home daily. Doctors will surgically insert a permanent tube into the stomach to pump and drain 2 litres of solution into the body, 4 times a day. An automated machine can also complete these 10-litre exchanges continuously over 8 hours at night, giving patients dialysis-free days.

    Doctors may ultimately use a kidney transplant to treat end-stage kidney failure. If successful, the new kidney can normalise kidney functions and reverse kidney failure.

  • Dialysis vs transplants

    Many patients choose to go through dialysis, but 30 – 40% of them have a 5-year survival rate. This is due to serious health problems that may arise from dialysis, such as cardiovascular complications and premorbid conditions like diabetes.

    In contrast, kidney transplantation offers better survival outcomes, with at least 90% of transplanted patients doing well after surgery. It is becoming increasingly popular to carry out living donor kidney transplants on patients before dialysis is initiated.

    Apart from better survival rates, patients also have a better quality of life after receiving a new kidney. They can work and function like a normal person, and are freed from the pain and complications that come with dialysis. There is also less restriction on diet. It is also possible for female patients to plan for a pregnancy after the transplant.

  • Cadaveric vs living donor

    A cadaveric donor is someone who donates their organs after they pass away. A living donor is one who donates their organs while they are alive.

    There are several advantages to having a living kidney donor. This includes better survival rates, shorter waiting times (as compared to the time needed to wait for cadaveric donors), less time spent on undergoing dialysis, and the ability to schedule the transplant at the time when patient is at his or her healthier state.

    Complicated living donor kidney transplantations are now possible with advances in medication and quality care. Patients do not need to have a blood group compatible with living donors.

  • Getting a transplant

    Our team of kidney specialists offer a complete range of medical and surgical interventions including acute and chronic disease management, end-stage disease management and kidney transplantation. Our experts have the capability and experience to undertake complicated, high-risk transplantations such as blood group incompatible and cross-match positive (sensitised) patients.

    We have a transplant unit designed to provide transplant patients with comprehensive and specialised care. The transplant unit has a dedicated inpatient ward with Intensive Care Unit (ICU) facilities for seamless post-surgery care. Our team of specialised ICU nurses are well-trained to support patients through the entire process from surgery to post-transplant monitoring and recovery.

  • Post-transplant care

    After surgery, the patient will remain in the hospital for about 10 days, and undergo routine tests and scans with our medical staff. After which, the recipient of the new kidney will be treated as an outpatient for another 1 – 2 weeks before being fully discharged.

    The patient will begin to experience an improved quality of life post-surgery, especially after the first month, and will soon be able to resume normal activities. After the kidney transplant, the patient will need to take a lifetime of anti-rejection medicine, but the dosage will be reduced over time.

  • Benefits of getting an LDKT

    A successful LDKT can save your life if you are suffering from end-stage kidney failure.

    Since 1993, more than 500 successful kidney transplantations have been carried out on our patients, with the majority in the 4 th and 5 th decades of their life. It is our goal to free you from long-term dialysis and enable you to resume a normal and active lifestyle. Living donor transplant offers many advantages, including:

    • Improved quality of life, as the transplant can be scheduled at a time when you are at a healthier state
    • Improved survival outcomes
    • Shorter waiting time, as compared to a cadaveric donor transplant

    To find out more, download this e-brochure or make an appointment with a specialist.

    E-Brochure Make an Enquiry or Appointment