Things to know about organ transplant

With organ donation, an unhealthy or malfunctioning organ of one person can be replaced with a healthy organ of another person. Diseases and disorders related to the heart, liver, and kidneys that lead to organ failure often necessitate organ transplant. Due to medical advancement over the years, there have been 9 types of organ transplants recognized worldwide: heart transplant, lung transplant, liver transplant, pancreas transplant, cornea transplant, trachea transplant, kidney transplant, skin transplant, and vascular tissues transplant. The organ donor can be a living person (in most cases, friends or family), or a recently deceased person. Organ transplantation is lifesaving and, in many cases of organ failure, the only hope for the recipient.

However, organ transplant is a complicated process with a number of risks attached. Once a doctor has made the diagnosis for organ failure, a patient is referred to an organ transplant center. It is a medical facility that will perform the recommended type of organ transplant. A patient and their family are then prepared for an organ transplant. The process usually starts after a considerable waiting period until a suitable match and donor is found.

Read on to know more about organ transplant.

The waiting list
After getting a reference to a transplant center, a patient’s health will be evaluated. A process will be followed to determine whether the patient meets the criteria for being on the organ transplant waiting list. One can consider being listed at multiple transplant centers. Although this may require additional fees, it can increase the probability of receiving a matching organ sooner than expected. The probability increases if a patient is able to register at two centers in different locations.

What is living-related organ donation?
A friend, family member, or anyone related to the patient can be a donor for an organ transplant. This is known as living-related organ donation. In some cases, this is often a patient’s best chance of receiving a transplant without any extended wait. Generally, kidneys, liver segments, intestine segments, and lung segments are transplanted through living-related organ donation. To be a donor, it is important for the person related to the patient to be healthy without any major medical problems. They should have a height-weight proportion and should be an adult under 65 years of age. They should not have any history of heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure. Also, the blood type of the donor and receiver should be compatible.

Costs involved
For an organ transplant process, one has to pay for the surgical procedure, post-surgery hospitalization, medications, routine checkups, and the treatment after the procedure. Moreover, a patient will have to pay for the initial tests that are required to be on the waiting list. A major heart transplant surgery costs around $500,000 with bills amounting to thousands of dollars per month for aftercare medications and treatments. However, it is possible to manage the expenses with primary insurance coverage, which pays the majority part of the expenses. The remaining expenses can be paid through a secondary or supplemental medical insurance coverage.