Can I get Kidney Transplant More than Once?

One of the two common treatment procedures which Nephrologists recommend in case of an End-stage Renal disease (ESRD) is a Kidney Transplant Procedure. The other procedure is Haemodialysis.  We are aware that a Kidney Transplant is a procedure wherein a patient, whose kidney has failed, is replaced by another kidney, taken from a living related or a deceased donor. 

Kidney Transplant is a more preferred option by patients as compared to Haemodialysis. This is because a kidney transplant can treat a chronic kidney disease  or an ESRD, ensuring a better quality of life. The other advantages associated with kidney transplant are lower overall cost, fewer dietary restrictions and lesser number of hospital visits when compared to long-term dialysis. 

However, questions arising among patients are, whether they can have multiple kidney transplants?  Before we get into answering that question, let us briefly understand who might require a Kidney Transplant?

Who can have a Kidney Transplant?

Most Nephrologists recommend transplant as an option depending upon the condition of the patient. Some people may undergo a transplant even before they undergo a dialysis procedure. This procedure is known as Preemptive Kidney Transplant Procedure. However, the decision to certify whether a patient is fit to take up a transplant surgery also depends upon various other factors that include:

  • Advanced Age
  • History of Chronic Heart Ailments
  • History of Diabetes  and Hypertension
  • Availing treatment for any type of cancer
  • Suffering from Dementia
  • Previously unsuccessful Transplant Procedure due to kidneys being rejected

On an average, Kidney Transplants last for a period of 10 to 12 years, sometimes even a little bit more. This brings us to the question, patients would be curious enough to know, which is

Can he get Kidney Transplant More than Once?

One of the important factors that can influence a patient’s decision to opt for a Kidney Transplant is the waiting period to get the exactly matching Kidney. This might take months or even years.  Additionally, Kidney Transplant is a complex procedure which requires intense rounds of preparing the patient physically and mentally, before the transplant and then the recovery period after the surgery, which might take a certain prescribed period. Another important factor that could influence the transplant procedure is the variation in the health condition of either the recipient or the donor or just the recipient, during the waiting period. 

Acknowledging all these factors which constitute the entire process of kidney transplantation, it is justified from the patient’s point to know whether it possible to have another kidney transplantation? 

Yes, it is possible to have a second or even a third transplant. However, the decision purely rests with the Nephrologists as they would have to evaluate many conditions including the patient’s physical condition and the availability of the right kidney at that point of time. The basic concern that one can have regarding the second or possibly the third kidney transplant is about the success rate for such kidney transplants. Studies have shown that second kidney transplant has the similar success rate as the first one and the success rate drops by and eventually ends after the fifth kidney transplant.

 Renowned Nephrologists, who have been associated with NU Hospitals, one of the well-established Kidney care centres in Bangalore and which enjoys the best success rates in Kidney Transplant surgeries, are of the opinion that doubts over the success of a second kidney transplant arise because of the failure of the first kidney transplant which makes the second one a necessity. A complete analysis is conducted by the doctors for the reasons why the first transplant failed to live upto their expectations before convincing the patient to get ready for a second one. This needs to be done with careful and proper counselling as the patients confidence levels would obviously be very low, due to the first failure.   

It’s refreshing to note that our country enjoys the highest success rates for Kidney Transplants in the world. The current success rate is around 90%. However, there are certain other key factors that could have a bearing on the success of a transplant surgery like; the choice of hospital, the expertise of the surgical and post-operative care teams, the tissue matching and compatibility of the donor, whether the donor is blood-related, and more. The chances of a post-surgical infection can also pose a big threat to the success rate. 

Hence it is wise enough to choose a centre which has the best treatment facilities with latest surgical equipment and above all, the best Nephrologists and nursing attention. 

NU Hospitals, ranked the best hospital for Nephro and Uro care is one such hospital which has all the above facilities under one roof. 

The Bottom Line

Doctors from Renowned Kidney Hospitals across India are working on reducing the time required to find a suitable second kidney for transplantation because it takes a considerably long period of time.  A complete physical assessment of the patient is also necessary to find out whether he will withstand the second surgery which could be as mentally and physically draining as the first one. 

For more information on how safe is a second kidney transplant for you and a clear and clinical assessment on the pros and cons by seasoned Nephrologists, visit NU Hospitals in Bangalore.

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