Kidney Transplant in Iran

Kidney Transplant in Iran

Iran is a medical tourism hub in the Middle East offering world-class medical centers and modern medical services to those who are looking for kidney transplants. When it comes to organ transplants, including cornea transplant, liver transplantation, and renal transplant surgery, the name of Iran shines among other countries due to the world-known surgeons, namely Dr. Malek Hosseini, in the kidney transplant field. Only a few specialized public or governmental hospitals are authorized to do the kidney transplant in Iran since the procedure is sensitive, both medically and legally.
Kidney transplants in Iran also let the patients who travel to the country save a significant amount of money, compared to other medical destinations.
Kidney Transplant in Iran

Kidney Transplant

A kidney transplant is a surgical procedure used to treat kidney failure. A diseased or failed kidney is replaced with a healthy kidney from a matching donor. By excreting waste through urine, the kidneys filter waste metabolites from the body and purify the blood. Thus, kidneys aid in the regulation of electrolyte balance in the body. If the kidneys are injured or diseased, waste accumulates in the body as a result of the kidneys’ underwork and can make an individual very sick. Kidney damage can be caused by a variety of circumstances and in the case of chronic kidney failure, the only option would be a kidney transplant.

Why Kidney Transplant?

The kidneys are two bean-shaped organs placed directly below the rib cage on each side of the spine. Each one is roughly the size of a fist. Their primary purpose is to produce urine, which filters and removes waste, minerals, and fluid from the blood.
When the kidneys lose their ability to filter, harmful amounts of fluid and waste collection in the body raise blood pressure and lead to kidney failure (end-stage renal disease or ESRD).  The end-stage renal disease occurs when the kidneys have lost around 90% of their normal function.
End-stage renal disease is caused by a variety of factors, mainly:
  • Diabetes
  • Uncontrollable high blood pressure
  • Chronic glomerulonephritis which is inflammation and eventual scarring of the kidney’s small filters
  • Polycystic kidney disease (PKD)
To survive, people with end-stage renal disease must have waste removed from their bloodstream via a machine (dialysis) or a kidney transplant.

What is Kidney Failure?

Kidneys are extremely versatile organs, and most people can survive perfectly well with only 15% kidney function. However, in the situation of complete kidney failure, our kidneys are no longer capable of excreting toxic waste products into the urine. The consistent ratio of waste materials in the bloodstream increases, and the person becomes severely ill. There are two types of renal failure:
    • Acute kidney failure: which can develop as a result of sudden damage to the kidneys, causes the kidneys to stop working for a short period of time before partially or completely recovering.
    • Chronic kidney failure: It is a gradual disorder in which the kidneys get irreversibly damaged over a prolonged period of time, occasionally many years. This disorder can arise as a result of an infection, diabetes, hypertension, or hereditary problems.  End-stage renal disease refers to advanced chronic kidney failure, in which your kidneys are no longer capable of functioning.
kidney transplant in Iran is a surgical procedure that involves transplanting a healthy kidney from a living donor into a person whose kidneys are no longer functioning properly.
A kidney transplant in Iranbegins with a thorough medical examination that includes routine blood testing and functional evaluations of the heart, lungs, and kidneys. These tests assist the medical team in determining the patient’s suitability for the treatment.

Legal and Medical Conditions for (NON-IRANIAN) Tourists to Have a Kidney Transplant in Iran

Foreign patients who want to perform a kidney transplant in Iran must be accompanied by a living donor. The donor kidney can be either their relatives, a family member, or an unrelated person with the same nationality as the recipient. The patient and the donor are no longer required to prove a genetic connection thanks to medical developments.
All patients of any age group can have a kidney transplantation in Iran in case they are in good health and have a matched donor. They must take some tests including a blood type test, tissue typing (HLA) to compare their genetic markers with the donor’s, and crossmatch (or blood compatibility test) to check if their kidney is a match.
For the kidney transplant in Iran, all patient’s medical records related to their kidney function, including the start time and number of dialysis sessions (if any), an ultrasound report, and urinary tract, as well as other documents such as their cardiovascular history, and any underlying disease like diabetes are required. All documents are sent to the Iranian transplant team for the patient’s condition evaluation and the team’s approval for the surgery.

Pre-surgery Preparations for a Kidney Transplant in Iran

Before the surgery, the patient and the donor should take some required medical tests to make sure no problem affects the success of the surgery. The process includes various tests and examinations, such as mental health assessment, full physical checkup (dental, cardio, ENT, etc.), a blood test to find the right donor, X-ray ultrasounds, kidney biopsies, gynecological examination, and mammography (for women), and any other necessary tests prescribed by the doctor. Patients with severe infections, heart disease, or cancer are NOT good candidates for a kidney transplant.
The necessary tests are taken in Iran even if you have already taken them in your country. Once the medical team confirms the patient needs a kidney transplant surgery, they will be notified of the date for the surgery.
If you need or have already performed dialysis, it will be done in the Iranian hospital during the preparation process for a kidney transplant. To do it, you must provide negative HIV and Hepatitis test results, either taken in your country or Iran.
Once the medical team approves the kidney transplant, the hospital requires the legal authorities for permission for the transplant surgery through an official letter. Both recipient and donor must receive legal permission from relevant governmental bodies in Iran. Their nationality and identity must also be authenticated by the embassy of their country in Iran. The identity authentication and the official letter from the hospital will be submitted to the Ministry of Health to receive final approval. The process usually takes 7 – 10 working days.
Before the surgery, the patient must sign a consent form for the transplant surgery. It is recommended that the patient reads the form carefully before signing it. The patient should not eat anything for 8 hours before the surgery.

During Kidney Transplant Surgery

During the surgery, the patient is fully anesthetized. Surgeons first operate on the donor, re-examining the donated kidney, and removing the kidney for transplant. Then they place the new kidney into the recipient’s body and under his or her kidney. The recipient’s kidneys are left in place unless they cause complications. In that case, the surgeons remove the diseased kidney and place the donated kidney in the patient’s abdomen.
The new kidney’s blood vessels are connected to the blood veins in the patient’s lower abdomen, just above one of his or her legs. The bladder is attached to the new kidney’s ureter, which connects the kidney and bladder.
If the kidney is from the left side of the donor’s body, it will be placed on the right side of the recipient’s body, and vice versa, because the connection of the urethra to the bladder would be easier this way.

Post-surgery Hospitalization

After the transplant, the donor can usually leave the hospital after 2 -3 nights. The patient needs to stay in the hospital- first isolated in the recovery room, next in the ICU, and then in the general ward- for one to two weeks for his or her condition, vital signs, and transplanted kidney function to be monitored closely until full recovery. The patient will have nutritional or other restrictions and should follow the doctor’s instructions until the kidney transplanted fully functions and even after that.
The new kidney will produce urine like the patient’s kidneys did when they were healthy. While this usually starts immediately, in some circumstances, it may take a few days, and the recipient may need temporary dialysis until his or her new kidneys start functioning properly.
When a kidney is transplanted into the body, the patient’s immune system finds it as a foreign tissue and tries to reject it as a natural reaction. To prevent kidney transplant rejection, the patient should take medications prescribed by the nephrologist that may last a lifetime.
Since the anti-rejection drugs are constantly changing and each patient responds differently to these immunosuppressive drugs, the doctor will prescribe the right ones in the right doses for each patient based on his or her condition. These immunosuppressive drugs weaken the immune system to prevent it from attacking the new organ; as a result, the patients will have a weaker immune system to fight off infections, compared to others.
Post-operation care is vital for kidney transplanted patients. After leaving the hospital, the patient must visit the specialist regularly to check for any potential signs of rejection or infection. Any mistake could shorten the kidney life expectancy or cause kidney failure.
Some signs of kidney transplant rejection include fever, swelling, bleeding, increased pain, elevated blood creatine levels, high blood pressure, etc. As soon as you have any of these symptoms, consult the specialist.
Generally, most kidney recipients can resume their daily activities 8 weeks after transplant. So, avoid lifting heavy objects and strenuous exercises during this time.

How Long Should I Stay in Iran for a Kidney Transplant?

As a kidney transplant is a sensitive procedure, it takes time for the doctors to approve the result and allow the patient to leave the hospital. The recipient should stay between 40 – 60 days in Iran out of which 15 – 30 days should be stayed in hospital. This time declines to 10 – 15 days for the donor where 3 – 7 days should be spent in the hospital.
Here is the common process for patients and donors with no underlying health condition:
Pre-surgery preparations: (for checkups, medical and legal approvals) 7 – 14 days
Surgery: 4 – 5 hours or more
Post-surgery hospitalization: minimum 2 nights for the donor and minimum 7 nights for the recipient
Post-hospitalization checkups for the recipient: minimum 7 nights
Please be aware that it can vary case by case. If any problems occur during any of the steps, the period will be extended to treat them.

Kidney Transplant Cost in Iran

The cost of kidney transplants in Iran, including pre-transplant examination, surgery, and other fees, is relatively lower than the cost of surgery in many other countries. It is between 11000-15000 USD. The price of a Kidney Transplant in Iran can vary according to each individual’s case and will be determined based on an in-person assessment with the doctor. You can contact our team to give you our best price.

Why Iran Medical Tours?

If you are worried about the difficulties and expenses of the process of receiving a kidney transplant in Iran, our professional team at Iran Medical Tours can arrange the whole process for you in the shortest possible time. Iran Medical Tours as a licensed agency can help you save much time, money, and energy through the whole kidney transplant procedure in Iran.
We will assist you in various steps of getting an Iran medical visa, finding the best Iranian doctors and medical centers, accommodation, transfer, accompanying interpreter, the required follow-ups, as well as recreational tourism services, from the beginning to the end of your travel to Iran at affordable costs.
We can also book a furnished apartment near the hospital for the period you stay in Iran to help reduce your expenses.
Contact us for a FREE Consultation or more information about kidney transplantation in Iran!
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