For survival, a patient may need an organ from another human being. With cases such a kidney failure, liver failure or damage, eye sight disorders or absent organs; replacement of such body parts is essential to sustain life. Using surgery procedures such as transplants, an organ is removed from a donor and into the recipient/patient in need.
In the current world, it is possible to transplant quite a majority of human organs.
Depending on the situation; heart, lungs, pancreas, intestines, kidneys, eyes, hair, liver, bones, tendons and other tissues within the body, make up the list of what can be transplanted. These organs could be from a donor who is living or is brain-dead. Brain dead is where the donor is past heartbeat cessation. The time cap is usually a maximum 24 hours.
Depending on factors such as intensity of operation, source of organ or patients needs, transplants are categorized into various types.
- With certain injuries or damages, medical professions may recommend transplants to fill the parts you might have damaged or lost. Depending on the intensity, it could be resolute to use your own tissues for the procedure. This type of transplant is referred to as an Auto graft. Parts of your body such as buttocks have tissues that could be used to replace injured/damaged tissue in other parts of your body.
- When an organ is transferred from a donor to a patient, both non identical to each other; that type of transplant is referred to as allografts. Also known as an Allotransplant, this is whereby the donor and the receiver are not genetically similar. This type of transplant is where a plea is placed and the organ sourced from donors, usually with anonymity, or sourced from an organ bank. The elimination of relation influences the referral of this procedure.
- Where the donor and the recipient are identical, genetically related, the transplant procedure is refers to as an Isograft. This type of transplant occurs where the source and the patient are blood relatives, such as brothers, sister-brother or identical twins. With this type, chances of reception are much higher since the genetics between the two parties are most likely compatible.
- In a desperate situation, an organ might have to be shared between two recipients. A case such as this would be between a child and an adult. From an autonomous source, larger organs such as bone marrows, tissues and tendons or liver, split transplants, as the procedure is referred, can occur. This type is not recommended or practised much since success of such a procedure is lower.
- In cases where the source of an organ is of a different species to the recipient, the transplant is referred to as a Xenograft. Also known as Xenotransplant, it is a case such as an eye transplant whereby the source is an animal and the recipient human. With organs such as tissues and tendons likely compatible, such a transplant is enabled.
- Where multiple transplants are performed at once on a patient, that type is refers to as Domino transplant. In order to make the organs fully compatible, other healthy organs that are directly connected would also be replaced. In a case where the lungs are being replaced, it could be necessary to replace the heart too or its vessels. Since the vessels in this case are still healthy, they could be stored in an organ bank for use with a patient in need.
With transplants, lifestyle related risks go with. With health, both the donor and the recipient are at risk of infections, blood loss due to bleeding, clotting of blood, heart attacks or stroke, pain or allergic reactions. With the recipient, the body might reject the organ, incompatibility concluding the procedure a failure, soon after the procedure or weeks, months or years after. With medication, your liver is at risk of damage.
Physical effects such as scars could be temporary or permanent. With regards to pricing, transplants are not a cheap medical affair. Depending with the organ and the intensity of the procedure, transplanting could be extremely expensive, with some organs quite hard to find, rendering the patient to a waiting list that could take years before one gets served.
- Transplants can be done on most parts/organs of the body.
- Success of transplants depends on compatibility of the organ,patients health and the procedure.
- As much as transplants are highly risky, they are highly effective in treatment of fatal diseases.