Kidneys are one of the primary organs of the human body that are responsible for performing various major functions be it excreting urine, flushing out of toxins, wastes, balancing electrolytes, acid-base regulating the volume of body fluids, fluid osmolality. Sized about the size of a fist up to 10 to 12 cm or 5 inches, these bean shaped organs located on either side of the spine, underneath the ribcage, receive blood supply from both renal arteries branching out from the abdominal aorta, equal to 20% of the cardiac output.
Even as they clear waste products into the urine, these organs simultaneously handle other functions including reabsorption, secretion of hormones like erythropoietin, calcitriol, regulation of blood pressure, triggering the absorption of calcium etc.
Kidneys can get affected by various health conditions as a result of poorly controlled diabetes, blood pressure and other ailments like nephropathy, hydronephrosis, interstitial nephritis, kidney stones, kidney tumour, kidney failure, renal stenosis, renovascular hypertension.
The Department of Nephrology at Hiranandani Fortis Hospital, Vashi, Navi Mumbai is well-equipped to handle critical kidney ailments – both acute and chronic conditions. Engineered to deliver quality care for ensuring highly successful outcomes, the expert nephrologists, assisted by exceptionally trained paramedical staff including nurses, certified haemodialysis technicians, dieticians work round-the-clock for the comfort of patients.
The department offers detailed diagnosis, pre-operative evaluation and dialysis support including peritoneal, nocturnal, short daily dialysis and hemodialysis to both children and adults.
The study of kidneys, its ailments, diagnosis and treatment fall under Nephrology. Derived from the Greek work, ‘Nephro’ means kidney and ‘logy’ is study. The medical expert who deals with treating kidney related ailments is called as a Nephrologist. Kidney is a complex organ and is prone to various conditions including diabetic nephropathy, hydronephrosis, interstitial nephritis, kidney stones, kidney tumour, kidney failure, renal stenosis, renovascular hypertension etc.
The functioning of kidneys can be determined through various blood tests and diagnostic tools.
Lifestyle changes like eating healthy diet, less salt, greasy foods, walking, keeping blood sugars and blood pressure under control, quitting smoking, walking, working out regularly will take you a long way in maintaining your kidney health.
Hiranandani Fortis Hospital, Vashi, Navi Mumbai, has the best nephrologists offering following procedures.
Certain kidney related ailments can be controlled with medications like diuretics, calcium reducers and vitamins. However, remember this forms the conservative management and it is crucial to keep up with lifestyle changes and timely medication schedule.
Dialysis is a procedure that removes waste products and extra fluid from the blood artificially, when kidneys fail to perform the same. It is done by inserting a catheter in to the body and diverting it to machine for it to be purified of all bodily wastes. In certain cases, the dialysis can be just a temporary arrangement till the kidneys recover fully. But in case of chronic kidney failure, renal transplant is the only option.
Kidney transplant is the last resort for the patients suffering End Stage Renal failure. A healthy, functioning kidney from a donor – either from a surviving or a cadaver is transplanted into the patient’s body. In many cases, the surgeon may choose to retain the older kidneys in the body, before placing the donated organ, unless there is a medical reason to remove it. Diseased kidneys in the case of tumours will get removed.
The donated kidney is placed in the lower abdominal region as it is easy to connect to arterial blood vessels and urinary bladder. The surgery that may take up to 4 to 5 hours and patient would be wheeled into transplant care unit post operation for 24/7 attention from the experts. Kidney transplant surgery is usually safe, but few patients may be at the risk of rejection, as the immune system may fight back the new organ. To prevent and lessen the rate of rejection, the patient will be administered immunosuppressants and would continue on these medications for rest of the life.
Kidney from a living donor starts working immediately but if it is a from a deceased donor, it may take 2 to 4 weeks for the organ for getting back into action.
Also known as renal calculi, nephrolithiasis or urolithiasis kidney stones is a commonly heard renal ailment when hard minerals and acid salts form into clumps in concentrated urine. These stones, if not treated on time can lead to intense pain on either side of the abdomen while passing urine. It often presents with nausea, vomiting, blood in the urine. Lithotripsy is recommended for breaking and clearing large kidney stones and in certain cases, doctors recommend conservative management and medicines.
Polycystic Kidney Disease is a genetic disorder that can cause numerous cysts filled with fluid, growing in the renal organs. Though a common and harmless occurrence, if not treated on time this condition can impair kidney functioning and lead to its failure.
UTI is a result of bacteria invading the urinary system including bladder and urethra. The symptoms include pain in the lower abdomen, fever, chills, pain in urination. UTI is treated with a dose of antibiotics. However, a delay can cost poor functioning of kidneys.
Glomeruli are extremely tiny structures located in the kidneys, that filter the blood. Glomerulonephritis is inflammation of these small structures and is often caused due to congenital abnormalities, drugs and infections. Can be treated with medication.
Diabetic Nephropathy is found in diabetics with poor control over blood sugars. It is one of the chief causes behind Chronic Kidney Failure (CKD) and End Stage Renal Failure (ESRD) as it slowly interferes with the functioning of kidney cells, damaging blood vessels.
When the kidney swells up due to urine accumulation and unable to get drained into the urinary bladder due to an obstruction, that condition is called as hydronephrosis. It can happen in one or both kidneys and is caused due to kidney stones, blood clot, scarred tissue from previous surgery, congenital factors. In certain cases, prostate enlargement, pregnancy, UTI too may lead to hydronephrosis and is resolved by addressing the underlying cause.
Interstitial Nephritis is characterized by the inflammation of kidney tubules. Interstitial nephritis is often a result of allergy to medication, other reasons being prolonged usage of antibiotics, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. In certain cases, it could be a result of autoimmune disorder like lupus erythematosus, high concentration of calcium, low levels of potassium and infections.
Kidney cancer or tumour happens when cells grow uncontrollably and are malignant. Kidney cancer in most cases is found in the tubules and is also known renal cell carcinoma. Prolonged usage of medications, smoking, genetic conditions are prime reasons and is found more in males than in females.
When the arteries carrying blood to one or both kidneys narrow down due to atherosclerosis or hardening of the arteries, it is called as Renal Artery Stenosis. Delay in treatment can cause poor kidney functioning.
In certain cases, when arteries supplying blood to the kidneys get narrowed down, it triggers hormonal response from the organs causing renovascular hypertension. It is treated with medication, revascularization surgery.
Kidney failure is a condition where renal organs lose the ability to perform functions efficiently and fail to filter wastes from the blood. It can be either acute or chronic and is caused due to various factors including diabetes, hypertension, long use of certain drugs, cardiovascular issues, scarring of the liver tissue etc. If not treated on time and managed, it can lead to End Stage Kidney Failure. Kidney transplant remains the only option at this stage, without which it is fatal.