Organ transplantation is a surgical procedure in which an organ is removed from the donor body and then placed in a recipient body to replace a damaged or diseased organ. The surgeries performed on the donor and the recipient could take place at the same hospital or at different locations, in this latter the organ need to be transported in short time as well as it is maintained on artificial support containers (They keep oxygenated blood flowing to the organ) until it is placed in the recipient body.
The organs can be taken from a living person, deceased donor or brain dead individual who is being kept alive on life support machines. To be able to use these organs in transplantation surgeries, they need to be removed from the donor body within 24 hours of clinical or brain death. Unlike organs, most tissue types except corneas can be preserved for up to five years and stored in special tissue banks.
Living donors can donate an entire organs or just part of them only if they can survive after the donation procedure as well as their bodies keep maintaining their vital functions in a healthy way. Examples of such organ donations are single kidney donation, partial liver donation, lung lobe donation and small intestine donation.
The organs and tissues which are going to be transplanted under normal conditions in the recipient, depend on the donated organ source (living person, deceased individual or another species). Some examples of these donations are:
Today, there is no age limit required for the recipient to be able to receive an organ or a tissue. These latter can be transplanted at any age, although the requirements and causes of this transplantation vary according to age categories.
However, it is mandatory that the donor is over 18 years old, in order to donate organs, this age limit could vary from a country to another according to their applicable laws.
RH blood factor is not important in organ transplantation. Blood type compatibility is sufficient. If there is no blood group match between the recipient and the donor, transplant chain may be a good solution.
A donation chain creates many opportunities for endless recipient-donor pairings. It starts with an altruistic donor - someone who wants to donate an organ out of the goodness of his or her heart. That organ is transplanted into a recipient who had a donor willing to give an organ, but was not a match. To keep this chain going, the incompatible donor gives an organ to an unknown patient who has been identified as a match, essentially more than one pair of incompatible living donors and recipients will be linked in a non-direct way in order to allow non match patients to receive compatible organs, which will save their lives.
In most cases, these surgical procedures are successfully performed and without any complication for both the donor and the recipient, which means that the living donor will be discharged within 7 days of surgery, however in transplantations from cadavers, the patient can be discharged within 10 days. It is important that the recipient stays in the same city where he had the transplant operation for at least 1 month.
It is very important for people who had organ transplants to take their medications regularly in order not to lose their organs. Patients should avoid direct sunlight, alcohol, Tabaco and drugs. There is no restriction on fluid intake and food consumption.