What does organ transplant mean?
The medical procedure involving the removal of an organ from the body of a donor to the body of a recipient to enable a smooth functioning of the latter’s body is known as an organ transplant. Transplants can also be done in the same individual where a donor and a recipient site exist. A number of organs like brain, heart, kidney, liver, connective tissues such as bone and bone marrow, fluids such as blood can be transplanted or donated taking into consideration a variety of factors. Team MedcureIndia briefs about the subject in the following lines.
Reasons for organ transplant:
The primary reason why any individual would need an organ transplant will always be the failure of that organ to work efficiently in order for the survival of that particular individual. The failure may have reasons like severe injury or illness leading to its complete cessation to normal working.
- Brain: It is one of the most controversial episodes in the history of organ transplants. No brain transplant either complete or partial has ever been performed on humans. However, experimental studies have been done on monkeys and rats in order to study the nerve compatibility and healing post a brain transplant procedure.
- Heart: It is quite an established type of organ transplant procedure which finds its application in advanced heart diseases. In cases where the heart stops functioning totally and other body conditions are normal and healthy, a heart transplant from a cadaver can be a choice. This always is preceded by consent from the donor’s family. Cases such as dilated cardiomyopathy, congenital heart defects, severe coronary artery diseases and failure/rupture of artificial pacemakers call for a heart transplant.
- Lungs: Diseases such as chronic obstructive lung disorders, cystic fibrosis, pulmonary arterial hypertension which zero down the ability of the lungs to carry out the respiratory function are ideal cases for transplant of one or both the lungs.
- Liver: A host of liver diseases can lead to the option of a liver transplant. These include hepatic tumors, choric liver failure, hepatitis, primary biliary cirrhosis, polycystic liver diseases. The warehouse of the human body is the liver and thus a chronic disease leading to its malfunctioning can be treated with a liver transplant from a healthy donor.
- Pancreas: In extreme cases of diabetes where glucose levels are haywire and cannot be controlled and pancreatic tumors, pancreas transplantation can be a life saving option.
- Intestines: In cases of short bowel syndrome, the individual looses the ability to absorb nutrients from food into the intestines. In very extreme gross situations, an intestinal transplantation can be required.
- Kidney: It is the second most routinely organ transplanted after blood, adopted method in cases of chronic renal failures and non responding situations to dialysis patients. The biggest advantage of the choice being that if the donor happens to be alive, can give away one kidney and very efficiently lead a life with the other one remaining.
- Cornea: A corneal transplant becomes mandatory when the cornea in the eye is severely damaged and thinned due to injuries or development of keratin in thick layers. Cornea cannot be preserved for too long once excavated for the cadaveric eye. Hence a fresh corneal availability is sought for its transplantation in the donor eye.
- Blood transfusion: This is the most commonly transplanted body organ/fluid in even the mildest cases where blood loss due to injuries/accidents/surgeries occurs. It can also be transfused in genetically malformed diseases where blood is not formed or poorly formed such as sickle cell anemia, thalessemia.
- Bone marrow: A transplant of such a type of tissue is required in cases of blood cancer like leukemia when there is a rapid destruction of blood cells. The stem cell reserve in the bone marrow is responsible for the formation of a variety of blood cells. In cases of blood cancer, heavy doses of chemotherapy or radiation where the stem cells begin to deplete or die, a marrow transplant from a genetically related member is helpful.
- Bones: It is the substitution of bone defects or loss of bone with a bone graft from the same individual or a different member but of the same species. In cases of alveolar bone in the mandible, an autograft from the person’s ribs or a synthetic bone graft maybe placed to the correction of the defect. Similarly loss of bones of the appendicular system such as humerus, femur, tibia, fibula can also be transplanted in living individuals from cadavers.
- Skin: Skin from one area of the body can be resected and transplanted to some other area in the same body or to a different individual altogether. Skin grafts are required during cases of burns, injuries, illness, bed sores, open unhealing wounds. Depending upon the requirement of layers of skin needed, a full or a split thickness choice of skin graft can be used.
Diagnostic tests before an organ transplant:
Before planning to place an organ into a recipients body, it becomes an utmost priority to screen the recipient whether he or she will or will not be able to accept the so called foreign body into its system. The tests run are as follows:
- Testing for the blood type: Out of the four blood groups A, B, AB and O, blood group AB is universal recipient and blood group O is universal donor. The Rh type either – or + however does not bother the process of organ transplant.
- Human Leukocyte Antigen HLA test: HLA is a protein found on the membranes of white blood cells in the human blood stream. It is used to maintain the immunity and helps distinguish the body between its own and foreign cells. In cases with a positive HLA test outcome indicates that the body has a tendency to produce antibodies against its own tissues. Thus the chances of a transplant failure are quite high.
- Cross match test: In cases of organ transplant, the body will always treat the organ as a foreign object and begin to destroy it. The body perceives it as an antigen and begins producing antibodies to kill it. However if the recipients blood is mixed with the cells or tissues of the donor in an in vitro method, then an estimation of the response can be made. A cross match is considered positive if antibodies begin to form in the reaction, negative if no antibodies form. A negative cross match test is always a thumps up for an organ transplant procedure.
- Other serological tests to test for the positivity of sexually transmitted diseases, hepatitis, HIV, cytomegalovirus are also carried out.
Types of Organ Transplant:
In a layman’s language, organ donation can be done both by living and dead individuals (cadavers). In cases of a kidney transplant, the donor can be both, a living or a dead person. Consent is needed from the family of deceased persons whereas live person willing donates a kidney under all normal circumstances as humans can work effectively with a single kidney too.
However, in the scientific language, organs donated can be:
Autograft: These are organs/tissues transplanted within the same individual with different donor and recipient sites. For example if an iliac vein is used in a case of bypass of coronary artery in a person with a cardiac stroke, leg from where the iliac vein graft is taken becomes the donor site and the coronary artery where it is grafted to bypass becomes the recipient site.
Allograft: It is the exchange of organ between two members of the same species. It is a very commonly followed procedure of organ transplant.
Isograft: It is the exchange or transplant of organ/tissues between members of the same species which are also genetically related as for example identical twins.
Xenograft: It is the transplantation done between members of two different species. For example use of bovine bone grafts to place prosthetic implants in the lower jaw in humans.
Complications & risk factors associated with organ transplant:
- Blood clots are common in cases of blood transfusions and kidney transplants either due to a mismatch or blood being transfused at a speedy rate. Bleeding and anaphylaxis can occur as a result of major complications.
- Infections and sepsis can arise in any type of transplants.
- Failure or rejection of the donated organ can occur in the recipient’s body
- Diabetes, high cholesterol and hypertension are risk factors for any type of organ donation both for the recipient as well as the donor.
Success Rate in India:
Blood transfusions have a cent percent chance of success followed by kidney and heart donation with an average range of 79 to 83.99 percent success chances. Liver and cornea follow next with a success chance in the range of 67-77 and 89-93.98 percent respectively.
Team MedcureIndia has always been on the forefront to provide the top most leading medical facilities to its highly esteemed clients at the best affordable prices. We also believe in keeping our knowledge upgraded regarding the trends followed in medical field. Organ transplant is one such modality and we direct our clients to the best institutes assuring successful outcomes.