acute tubular necrosis (ATN) - reversible damage to the renal tubules that filter your blood and make urine. This damage causes the transplanted kidney to have a delay in functioning. ATN may be caused by the length of time the organ was stored before it was transplanted, the quality of the organ itself, or by the anti-rejection medications.
anesthesia - medication given before transplant surgery which causes a temporary loss of sensation and consciousness.
antibody - a protein made by your body that destroys foreign matter
antigen - a substance present on our white blood cells that has the capacity to trigger an immune response.
anti-rejection medication - a medication that prevents kidney rejection. Also called immunosuppressant medication.
arteriogram (angiogram) - an x-ray of your renal arteries that reveals their size and shape. A dye is used in this process.
baseline labs - tests that are administered before transplant surgery. Baseline labs allow the transplant physicians to compare whatever is being measured, such as blood pressure or temperature, both before and after surgery.
biopsy - the removal of a small piece of renal tissue that is then examined under a microscope to determine if rejection or ATN is taking place
bladder - a hollow organ that stores the urine received from your kidneys. During urination, the bladder empties through a tube called the urethra.
blood transfusion - the injection of donated blood into the bloodstream of a recipient. One unit of blood is equal to approximately one pint of blood.
BUN - Blood urea nitrogen (BUN) is a waste product usually excreted by your kidneys. BUN values can rise when your kidneys are not working properly or when you are dehydrated.
cadaver - deceased person
cadaveric - pertaining to a deceased person
CMV (Cytomegalovirus) - a common viral infection that affects the lungs and other organs.
creatinine - a waste product normally found in your blood and urine that is a good indicator of kidney function. Creatinine values rise when your kidneys are not working properly.
crossmatch - a test that determines blood compatibility by mixing blood samples from the donor and the recipient. A positive blood crossmatch means the donor and recipient are not compatible for transplantation. A negative blood crossmatch means they are compatible and the transplant workup may proceed.
deceased donor - a person who recently died of causes unrelated to kidney disease. The donor's cause of death will not affect the functioning of the transplanted kidney. Either the donor or the donor's family has willingly offered the kidney for transplantation.
deceased donor kidney - a kidney that has been surgically removed from a cadaveric donor.
dialysis - the process of artificially cleansing the blood in persons whose kidneys no longer function properly. Dialysis can be done either by hemodialysis or peritoneal dialysis.
edema - extra fluid in the body tissues. One example of edema may be swollen ankles.
electrocardiogram (EKG) - records the electrical activity of the heart
electrolyte - a normal substance in your body that conducts electricity. Electrolytes include calcium, chloride, phosphate, and potassium.
End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) - the final stage or phase of kidney disease
graft - the transplanted kidney
graft failure - the transplanted kidney stops functioning permanently
hemodialysis - a process that purifies your blood through a machine often called an "artificial kidney."
histocompatibility - a term that reflects the similarity in the tissues of the donor and recipient. This similarity will help reduce the chances of rejection of the transplanted kidney.
HLA (human leukocyte antigens) system - a genetically determined series of markers (antigens) present on human white blood cells (leukocytes) and on tissues that are important in histocompatibility
hypertension - high blood pressure
immune response - the immune system's normal and expected reaction to any foreign matter in the body, including the transplanted kidney
immunosuppressant - a medication that prevents kidney rejection
incompatible - no similarity between the donor's and recipient's blood type or kidneys
internist - a physician who specializes in the diagnosis and medical treatment of adults. Subspecialties may include nephrology, hematology, and immunology.
kidney - one of two bean-shaped organs located above the waist on either side of the spine. Kidneys filter impurities from the blood, maintain the body's fluid balance, and produce urine.
kidney transplant or transplantation - the surgical implantation or insertion of a human donor kidney in a recipient. The donor kidney may come from a deceased donor or from a living donor. A living donor may or may not be a blood relative of the recipient.
laparoscopic surgery - a type of surgery that uses a tube containing a tiny camera that allows the surgeon to see inside the abdominal cavity. Incisions made during this type of surgery tend to be smaller than with conventional types of surgery.
living donor (LD) - a person who willingly volunteers to give his/her kidney. The donor may be a spouse, friend, or other person who is not a blood relative of the recipient.
living-related donor (LRD) - a person who willingly volunteers to give his/her kidney. The donor is a blood relative of the recipient.
nephrectomy - the surgical removal of a kidney
nephrologist - a physician who specializes in the medical treatment of kidney disorders and who works with the transplant team to ensure optimal function of your new kidney
peritoneal dialysis - a process that removes wastes from your body using your peritoneal membrane (in your belly) as a filter
polycystic kidney disease - a type of kidney disease in which the kidney contains many cysts
rejection - the immune system's normal and expected reaction to foreign matter in the body, including the transplanted kidney. Rejection usually is treated with immunosuppressant medications.
renal - kidney
renal transplant - the surgical replacement of a non-functioning kidney with a donor kidney. The donor kidney may come from a cadaver, a living-related donor, or an unrelated living donor.
retroperitoneal -- the area of the body where the kidneys are located
tissue typing - a blood test performed prior to transplantation to determine the histocompatibility of the potential donor and recipient
ultrasound - a procedure that uses silent sound waves to create pictures of your kidney. An ultrasound may be used after transplant surgery to ensure your transplanted kidney is working.
UNOS - United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS). This organization ensures that all patients have a fair chance to receive the organ they need. UNOS matches organ donors with recipients and manages the list for those awaiting cadaveric transplant.
urethra - the tube that drains urine from your bladder to the outside of your body
ureter - the tube that drains urine from your kidney to your bladder
urine - the fluid produced by the kidneys and stored in the bladder
urinary tract infection (UTI) - an infection in the urethra, ureters, and/or bladder
urologist - a physician who specializes in the treatment of urinary organs and tracts, such as the kidney, bladder, and urethra.
virus - a microscopic organism that causes infection
white blood cells - cells in the blood that fight infection
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