Transplantation – the chance of a lifetime!

Transplantation of organs is a life-saving procedure. The life of a recipient may improve almost immediately and most of all, be saved. Unfortunately, not many want to donate organs, that is why, many patients are on the waiting list. This article will help you understand the subject of transplantation and will make it easier to stand for or against. Undoubtedly, the topic of transplanation is a difficult one and its aim is to give a chance for a new life. Let us check it, then. Professor Nadey Hakim is a very well known specialist in transplantation, especially in pancreas and kidney transplantation and, in addition, has expertise in bariatric (obesity) surgery.

I.S.: Who can qualify to be a recipient of an organ and what are the first symptoms of having
problems with organs?
N.H.: There are several organs which can be transplanted: kidney, pancreas, liver, heart, lung,
cornea, arm. Each organ which fails, starts failing slowly and the patient suffers from organ
disfunction. For example, if the kidney fails, the amount of urine decreases and the patient
feels tired and unable to lead a normal activity. Eventually, he goes on dialysis and, if
lucky, gets transplanted. I did the first pancreas transplant (cure of diabetes) in London in
1995 and was part of the team which performed the first world arm in Lyon France in 1998.

I.S.: Is that true that transplanted organs last forever or do they last for only some time? As
some researches state, transplanted organs do not last forever, given from living donors 10-13
years graft survival, and from deceased donors, 7 to 9 years.
The longest reported organ is 60 years.1
N.H.: Organs can last for a long time if we can avoid rejection. Sadly, rejection can happen
anytime, and the patient ends up requiring another transplant. The key is to take the anti
rejection medications nonstop. This is due to the fact that this organ is not from the person
now carrying it, and that is why it must be accepted by the body of the recipient by taking
medications till the end of ones life.

I.S.: What determines how long you are to wait for a donation? What influences this?
N.H.: Mainly the blood group. A group 0 waits the longest because he can only accept an 0.
Group A the least as A can accept an A and an 0.
I.S.: How living in various places may have a chance on obtaining the chance for donation?
This is not true. It is all a question of luck.

I.S.: What complications may occur after the procedure?
N.H.: Rejection, thrombosis (clotting of the organ), infection, cancer.

1The Ohio State University-Wexner Medical Center, Lori Kurtzman, July 20, 2020

Albeit, to avoid the complications, one has to get a proper care after the surgery, get tested
and monitored periodically and limit some tiring activities, as well as follow the appropriate
diet, and have a good sleep. Most of all, the patients should not forget to take the medicine
that keeps the donated organ healthy.