Dialysis or Transplant? Experts weigh in

The Medical City

Posted at Dec 20 2019 03:04 PM

According to the Department of Health (DOH), 1 Filipino dies every hour due to kidney failure. With over 7,000 cases recorded every year, kidney failure is the 9th leading cause of death in the Philippines, and statistics have shown a 10%-12% increase yearly. Unlike most diseases, kidney failure may not produce any symptoms, and when left unrecognized or untreated, may result in life threatening circumstances or further complicate existing illnesses.

Causes and symptoms of kidney failure

A number of risk factors increase the chance of getting chronic kidney diseases—unhealthy lifestyle, diabetes, high blood pressure, smoking, obesity, old age, and a family history of kidney disease.

Going back, the kidneys' primary job is to filter the blood, excreting waste and controlling the body's fluid and electrolyte balance. This removed waste gets turned into urine which is drained through the bladder. When kidneys lose this filtering activitiy, harmful levels of fluid and waste accumulate in the body.

The most common symptoms of kidney failure are lethargy and weakness due to anemia, shortness of breath, generalized swelling, loss of appetite, heart complications such as arrythmias and heart failure, and problems with potassium, phosphorus, and calcium imbalance.

When this happens, patients need to undergo treatment to replace lost kidney functions through dialysis, medication, or kidney transplant.

Why opt for kidney transplant?

According to experts at The Medical City Clark's Center for Kidney Health and Transplantation, a kidney transplant is the treatment of choice for kidney failure, compared to a lifetime of dialysis.

A kidney transplant can replace all the functions lost with kidney failure, resulting in not only bigger chances of survival, but a better quality of life and fewer medications in the long run. It is ideal that patients who are eligible for this, do so before ever starting on dialysis.

The Kidney Transplant Program

As one of the leading hospitals with a Kidney Transplant and Organ Donation Program, TMC Clark is dedicated to delivering a multidisciplinary, patient partnership approach with comprehensive diagnosis and treament coupled with state of the art technology and specialized standards of health care.

This is a team composed of nephrologists, radiologists, transplant surgeons, and nutritionists, among others, who will throughly evaluate the patient to determine eligibility for transplant. These factors include the patient's health and capacity for surgery and medications, medical complications, and willingness to follow through on the hospital's post operative health program.

The center also takes pride in its postoperative care and services—from postoperative medication and management, lifestyle changes, and consistent checkups, to ensure the long-term success of the procedure.

Kidney donors: How to save a life

It is rare for life to provide us opportunities to change lives, but The Medical City Clark offers different types of programs for one to do exactly just that: save a life.

The donor transplant is when someone who has recently passed away donates his or her kidneys with the consent of the family or a donor card, while the living donor kidney transplant is the removal of one of two well functioning kidneys for a loved one. The facility also offers pre-emptive kidney transplant, where the procedure is done before the kidneys deteriotate to the point of dependence on dialysis.

There is nothing more rewarding than being able to extend a loved one's life, and with The Medical City Clar's Center for Kidney Health and Transplantation, patient partners are able to ensure that proper measures and recommendation are done—whether it be maintenance or operation, a dedicated team of experts will always be there to guide you and your family hand in hand throughout the process.

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