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Kidney disease

Trasplantament renal a Vall d'hebron

There are four basic parts to treating renal insufficiency. Controlling arterial pressure, if it is high; levels of urea; the balance of mineral salts (sodium, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium); acidity and anaemia. Analytical testing provides a lot of information which enables the origin and severity of the kidney disease to be established. A kidney biopsy allows a microscopic study that is often essential. Genetic testing also provides very important information.

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There are three different levels of treatment:

a) medical, with the use of medication or hormones to substitute the alterations mentioned. A diet that creates little urea or that contains low levels of potassium, drugs to control excess or lack of sodium, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium or acidity. And medication to treat anaemia.

b) extrarenal purification methods: haemodialysis (passing the blood through an external circuit to purify it and filter out toxic substances using a suitable filter), and peritoneal dialysis, during which a solution is circulated inside the patient's peritoneal cavity and is then extracted, taking the toxic substances usually expelled through urine with it.

c) kidney transplant from a living or deceased donor. In this instance, the new kidney takes over the functions of the diseased kidney. How long a kidney graft lasts varies and relies on controlling episodes of organ rejection that may occur after transplant. A young patient with kidney insufficiency may require more than one kidney transplant over their lifetime, although the useful life of these grafts is increasing day by day thanks to new immunosuppressant drugs.

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