Risks and benefits of transplant tourism. In this PlacidWay Video you will learn more about Transplant Tourism – the Risks and Benefits you can get.
Transplant tourism consists of going to a foreign country to have organ transplant. This form of medical tourism is practiced by people who need urgent medical attention due to either end stages of chronic diseases which lead to multiple organ failure or when the patient has sustained lesions damaging internal organs.
The major problem with organ transplantation is that the body’s immune system treats any transplanted organ as if it were an infecting organism and tries to destroy it through the action of white blood cells and antibodies (immune system). An ideal transplant would have tissues identical to those of the organ it replaces. An organ transplant between identical twins, carries no risks of rejection because the tissues of such twins are a perfect match and do not provoke a response from the body’s defense system.
Corneal transplants are another exception. They “take” easily because the cornea has no blood supply and therefore lacks the rejecting weapons of white blood cells and antibodies.
Donated organs are matched as closely as possible to the patient by tissue type but a perfect match is almost impossible. To prevent rejection of a transplanted organ, the body’s immune response must be counterbalanced by treatment with immunosuppressive drugs.
Until recently this treatment carried great risks because the drugs had serious, sometimes life threatening side effects and their dosage had to be calculated with a precision that was difficult to achieve. The drugs reduced resistance to infection, tended to encourage the growth of malignant tumors, and sometimes damaged bones and other organs.
Consequently, many more transplants are now being carried out and as a result, surgical techniques and expertise are continually improving and the success rates are correspondingly higher.
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