Treatment Options for Patients Ineligible for Kidney Transplant

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Grounds for Ineligibility

Once your doctor has told you that you are ineligible for kidney transplant, it is understandable that you may ask yourself “what to do if I am not a candidate for kidney transplant”. First, you should assure your eligibility. There are certain reasons why you may not be eligible for kidney transplantation, in spite of suffering from severe renal disease. Some of the issues that may prevent you from being eligible include:

  • Old age
  • Severe heart or vascular disease
  • Current or recent treatment for cancer
  • Active infection
  • Psychosis
  • Severe obesity
  • Ongoing drug or alcohol abuse
  • HIV-positive, although there are instances when one will be allowed to undergo transplantation, given that the disease is controlled properly.
  • Other cases and conditions may be considered through case-by-case analysis and evaluation.

If you are not eligible for transplantation, there is no need to despair. Knowing what to do is attained through assessing other treatment methods, depending on the severity of your kidney failure.

Kidney Dialysis

Unfortunately, end-stage kidney failure limits possible treatment options into two: kidney transplant and dialysis. Thus, if conditions do not permit you to undergo transplantation, and kidney failure has reached its end-stage, you will have to opt for dialysis. In general, dialysis treatment uses filter systems to perform a limited number of essential kidney tasks that focus on body cleansing through eliminating waste products.

You may already have answered the question: “what to do if I am not a candidate for kidney transplant” through opting for dialysis, but you would still have to choose the type of dialysis to use. Hemodialysis is that which uses a dialyzer or artificial kidney to perform cleansing and regulatory kidney functions. Access must be made into blood vessels through surgery, using a filter membrane, so as to enable large amounts of blood to flow through the filter into the machine and back to the patient’s body. Doctors can also make a fistula, which connects a large artery and vein so a substantial amount of blood flow into the vein will ensue. Catheters may also be used especially in urgent cases, because a fistula takes time to be built and to mature.

Peritoneal Dialysis wins popular favour because of its practical measures, and it is usually home-based. In contrast to hemodialysis, peritoneal dialysis targets access into the abdominal cavity. Waste is removed through the abdomen drainage that ensues, with the aid of a tube filter and the dialysate that is flowed into the tube. Continuous Ambulatory Peritoneal Dialysis (CAPD) is a wieldy option because it allows you to easily engage in daily activities at home with the dialysis solution located on the abdomen. Continuous Cycler-assisted Peritoneal Dialysis (CCPD) involves employing a special machine called a cycler to carry out the draining task, and is most conveniently used during sleep.

Other Available Methods

For instances when the kidney has not completely or gravely failed functioning, certain diet modification and restrictions can help control kidney failure. In this case, dieticians are handy for useful information on the allowable types and amounts of food and fluid intake. Some of the general guidelines involve limiting intake of food with high levels of salt or potassium.

Medications can also contribute to controlling issues that are related to the kidney dysfunction. These include phosphorous-lowering medications, red blood cell production stimulation, red blood cell production, certain vitamins, and medications that regulate blood pressure.