Overview of the Nephrology Program
The Nephrology Program is part of the Medical Subspecialties Institute at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi. It focuses on the care of patients who are undergoing kidney transplants before, during, and after transplantation. Because kidney transplant is a complicated procedure requiring continuous follow-up, the team also collaborates closely with caregivers at other subspecialties and Institutes across Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi.
Kidney transplantations from living donors are available at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi. Transplantation is a complex procedure that requires a Patients First, multidisciplinary, team approach between surgeons, nephrologists, transplant coordinators, nurses, social workers, and dietitians. In addition, there is a strong collaboration with the cardiology and gastroenterology teams to assist with preparing a patient for transplant.
What We Treat
The team at the Nephrology Program prepares patients both medically and psychosocially for their transplants through extensive diagnostic testing and education about what to expect. Before the operation, the team works directly with surgeons to prepare patients for surgery. During surgery, physicians work with the surgical team to help co-manage patients. After the transplant has taken place, the team of caregivers:
- Follow up with the patient
- Manage immunosuppressive medications
- Screen for any complications arising from the transplant or medications
- Work to prevent and treat any complications
Possible complications that can arise after a kidney transplant include:
- Hypertension: A condition characterized by persistently elevated blood pressure. This disease is also called high blood pressure.
- Anemia: A condition that develops when the red blood cells are unable to carry oxygen throughout the body.
- Cardiovascular diseases: A group of conditions that develop as the result of blocked arteries or arteries that are narrower than they should be, and affect the health of the heart.
- Rejection of the kidney: A set of symptoms that occur when the body’s immune system rejects a kidney transplant.
After a patient has been discharged from the hospital, he or she will be expected to continue to return to Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi for monitoring and follow-up care with the Nephrology Program team. Program caregivers will continue to monitor for complications, including microbiological and cancer screenings, as well as vaccinations.
Diagnosis & Treatment with Nephrology
Diagnosis with Nephrology
Patients referred to Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi’s Nephrology Program will undergo a range of tests to monitor their levels of antibodies, hormones, and other chemicals, including:
- Blood tests: Laboratory tests that require a blood sample from the patient. Technicians in the lab analyze the blood sample for the patient’s blood type and other indicators that can help physicians find a match between a donor (the person donating a kidney) and a recipient (the person receiving the kidney).
- Urine tests: Laboratory tests that require a urine sample from the patient. Technicians in the lab analyze the urine sample to assess kidney health.
Patients will also undergo imaging studies, including:
- Ultrasound: A type of test that uses ultrasound technology to produce an image of the kidneys and monitor the kidneys for any problems.
- Computed tomography (CT) scan: A study that uses x-ray imaging techniques to produce images of the kidneys and detect abnormal function in the kidneys.
Treatment with Nephrology
The team of caregivers within the Nephrology Program manages and monitors the amount of immunosuppressive medication (medications that reduce the action of the body’s immune system) patients must take to ensure that the transplanted kidney is not rejected by the body. Certain treatments may also be prescribed, managed, and administered, such as:
- Antihypertensive medications: A group of medications that are used to treat high blood pressure.
- Anemia injections: Injections of a substance called erythropoietin (also called EPO), used to treat patients who have developed anemia following a kidney transplant.
- Iron injections: Injections of iron used to treat a type of anemia caused by a deficiency in iron.
- Electrolytes replacement: A treatment that involves administering electrolytes to a patient who has either an imbalance or deficiency of the substance. Electrolytes are substances that conduct electricity in the body, facilitating nerve impulses and muscle movement, and are essential for proper kidney function.
Nephrology Program Caregivers
The nephrology team consists of caregivers from a wide range of specialties that work closely with other subspecialties and Institutes to provide comprehensive, Patients First care.
Caregivers involved in patient care for this program are:
- Consultant physicians
- Transplant coordinators
- Nephrology clinic nurses
- Dialysis nurses
- Plasmapheresis nurses
- Health unit coordinators
- Case managers
- Social workers
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