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This involves replacing the damaged kidney with a healthy kidney from a donor. Healthy organs can come from a living or recently deceased person.

Living donors are often close friends or relatives of the patient. In the UK there is an organ donor register. By joining this people agree to the donation of their organs and tissue for transplantation after their death. Other organs and tissues that can be donated include blood, bone marrow, heart, lungs and cornea. 18 of 27 Kidney transplant data 19 of 27 Preventing organ rejection All cells contain markers on the surface, called antigens.These help the immune system identify a cell as a cell from the body or a foreign cell.

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If the immune system detects a transplanted organ as a foreign object, it may mount an immune response against it. This is called organ rejection. Several steps are taken to prevent this: A donor kidney of a similar tissue type’ as the patient, is used. This means that the antigens on the new organ will be as similar as possible to those of the patient. L] Before and after a transplant operation, a patient takes instrumentation drugs. These drugs inhibit the activity of the immune system. 20 of 27 Problems relating to transplantsA kidney transplant can give a patient a better quality of life, as it provides freedom from dialysis.

However, a transplant operation can put the body under a lot of strain and there is potential for problems related to surgery. Instrumentation drugs lower a patients resistance to infection and can make infections hard to treat. Blood tests are regularly carried out to make sure that the organ is functioning and to monitor the effect of the instrumentation drugs.

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