Any organ transplant is a big decision to be carried out from the patient`s point of view as well as the doctor`s or the hospital`s. Transplants are mostly done when every other treatment fail for the disease in question. Before considering an organ transplant there must be hundreds of questions that cross your mind, some of them are listed below, with the best possible explanations.
1. Is there an age limit or a medical condition that can stop you from an organ transplant?
There is no standard age limit as such for an organ transplant. Depending on the organ transplant in question, there might be certain age limitations but there is no general rule as to transplants. For example, a heart transplant program may hesitate to accept anyone older than 70 years of age; since extended hospital stays and infections were constantly reported among patients older than 70.
There are a few medical conditions that will prevent an organ transplant altogether. General hiccups that pose a glitch for transplant are long-term medications taken by the patient or some major health problem that he or she might be facing. Some of the examples of health issues include various cancers or excessive obesity. Sometimes, the doctors just wait it out to improve your health before going forward with the scheduled transplant.
2. What are the factors that are considered for organ matching and allocation?
A number of factors are studied to zero down on the best-matched relationship between the donor and the recipient. The general factors include:
- Matching of blood type and organ size
- Availability of the donor at the time of requirement
- The degree to which the immune-system match between the donor and recipient
- Age of the recipient (child or an adult)
- HLA typing or tissue typing
- Passing of the crossmatch testing
3. Which organs of the body can be transplanted?
Many organs in our body can be transplanted and this is a life saver since when all treatments fail to show results, transplants give you that last ray of hope. The following organs in our body can undergo transplantation:
- vascularized composite allografts (VCAs), includes face and hand.
Also, a couple of organs can be transplanted at the same time (double transplants) like the kidney and pancreas, heart and lungs.
4. How will the hospital find the right organ donor for me?
Once you are referred by your doctor and successfully undergo the evaluation procedure, you will be added to the waiting list (with a pool of names) of a transplant hospital. As soon as an organ donor gets available, all the pool patients are compared with the donor. Factors deciding the donor match like genetic makeup, blood type, etc, are considered. The organ is then offered to the candidate in the list who gets the best match. Other factors like a medical emergency, time spent on the list, etc also determine the queue.
5. When does organ transplantation become necessary?
Organ transplant becomes the need of the hour if one of your organs has failed. The reason for organ failure may be a result of illness or injury. The donor organ that is transplanted in the diseased person may come from a donor who is living or from a donor who has died.