Lifestyle key to good kidney health
DIALYSIS NOT IDEAL SAYS DOCTOR
SOUTHEASTERN SUBURBS KIDNEY specialist Hemant Kulkarni says in an ideal world any stable patient with kidney failure would have the option of a transplant and not have to go on dialysis.
“Dialysis is the equivalent of only about 8-10 per cent of the normal kidney function,” he said.
“You can never replicate the normal kidney function, even with the best form of dialysis.
“That is why we want to prevent people from going on dialysis in the first place.
“Dialysis options are also quite expensive at a cost of between $45,000 to $90,000 per patient, per year and there are about 58 patients in the Armadale haemodialysis unit, plus about 20-30 people on home dialysis in the surrounding area.”
Dr Kulkarni said once a transplant took place, the new kidney would, almost always, start to function as a normal healthy kidney.
“The patients no longer need dialysis, their survival is significantly improved, the cost to the health system is significantly reduced.
“They can go back to work and are no longer attached to the hospital.
“Medication and follow-up appointments ensure the transplanted kidney survives the longest possible time and we expect the person to be back to full health as if they didn’t have a kidney problem.”
Dr Kulkarni said we are essentially born with a spare kidney and donors live normal lives with one kidney. Kidney transplant surgery is also low risk as it is one of the oldest forms of organ transplant.
The survival rate for both the kidney and recipient after the first year