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What is an organ transplant? How to find the best hospital for liver & kidney transplant in Kolkata?

Organ transplant is a life-saving medical procedure for patients who are suffering from end-stage organ failures such as liver, pancreas, lung, intestine, kidney or heart. Though renal diseases can be treated with other renal replacement therapies, kidney transplantation is the best treatment in terms of improvement of quality of life and cost-effectiveness. Out of all other transplantations, kidney transplant is one of the most common organ transplants globally, while intestine transplant is the least common.

What is an organ transplant?

Organ transplantation involves the removal of a healthy organ from a person’s body and transplanting that organ into another person who has a damaged, injured or comprised organ. Though life-saving, organ transplantation is a major surgical procedure which involves a lot of risk such as the probability of organ rejection. In some cases, the surgeon may perform a double transplant such as kidney with pancreas or heart along with lung. An organ transplant can lengthen the life of the patient and also enable those who have a chronic illness to live a normal life span.

For an organ transplant to take place, the donor organ should match the criteria such as blood type and size of the organ. Moreover, factors such as waiting duration of the patient, the severity of sickness, as well as the physical distance between the donor and recipient are evaluated before the patient is granted the donor organ.

Who needs an organ transplant?

An organ transplant is needed in cases where the original organs of a person have failed or are damaged. In some cases, an organ transplant might be also needed due to a genetic condition called polycystic kidney disease, cystic fibrosis, or a heart defect. Even infections such as hepatitis, physical organ injuries, and chronic health conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, etc. can cause an organ to damage – thus, instating a need for an organ transplant.

What to expect?

The core requirement for an organ transplant to ensure the survival of the patient, who would otherwise not survive, if the transplant is not done. In cases, where an organ transplant is successful, it effectively improves the quality of life of the person and eliminating the need for daily dialysis in severe cases.

The procedure for an organ transplant begins when the doctor confirms the need and puts the name of the patient on the organ transplant list. This is done after the doctor diagnoses the condition of the patient, confirms that it is chronic, and also assess if a transplant will improve the condition – making the patient a suitable candidate for an organ transplant.

Once the patient is on the waiting organ transplant list, several factors such as the urgency of the condition, probability of survival, the period, etc. are evaluated before the organ is provided. When an organ becomes available, the surgeon will immediately perform the procedure within a few hours since organs cannot survive for a long period. Post the surgery, the patient will need to recover in the hospital for a few days and will be continuously monitored for any infections, rejection of organ or other complication. The duration of hospital stay depends on factors such as the effectiveness of surgery, signs of infections such as fever, etc.

How to find the best hospital for liver and kidney transplant in Kolkata?

For a patient who has been advised an organ transplant, it is very critical to ensure that the procedure is received from one of the best hospitals. Specifically, in Kolkata, one can use the following tricks to find the best hospital for liver and kidney transplant:

Know your needs: Before initiating a search for the best hospital for liver and kidney transplant, one must priorities their needs. This can be done based on the consultation of the doctor who recommended the organ transplant. The patient will need to know the severity of the condition, the period in hand, etc. The health condition must be clear for one to make the right decision.

Make a list of hospitals offering organ transplant in Kolkata: It is very critical to make a list of all hospitals that offer organ transplant facilities. This list can be made through an online search on platforms such as Google, Practo or Justdial. You could also include referrals from family, friends or other doctors (you may know). 

Narrow the list: After preparing a long list, it is essential to narrow it down based on some very critical factors such as below:

  • Private vs. Government Hospital
  • The proximity of the Hospital
  • Types of Insurance accepted
  • Transplant specialities

Know the hospitals: Once you’ve narrowed the list to include a few hospitals, the next most essential step is the dig deeper and know these hospitals well. You must conduct an exhaustive study of the hospital and assess factors such as:

  • Certifications and Affiliations (specifically in concern to organ transplantation)
  • Recognition such as from NOTTO: National Organ & Tissue Transplant Organisation
  • Medical technologies
  • Type of facilities
  • Panel of doctors
  • Assistive teams
  • Success rates of organ transplants (specifically kidney and liver)
  • Referred cases
  • Years of service
  • Procedures and processes
  • Surgical advancements
  • Awards

Read online reviews and ask around: After shortlisting a few names, it is important you conduct even deeper research to select the best of them all. Read online reviews and get feedback from friends or relatives or even other doctors about the hospital and then take the final decision.

Visit the hospital and then book an appointment: After making the final decision, you must visit the hospital yourself accompanied by a close family member to check the authentication and then type of facility. You should also meet the doctors and if possible the particular surgeon who would be performing the transplant. The basic aim of this step is to get to know the hospital better.

Once satisfied, book your appointment and prepare for the procedure per the guidelines provided.

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