Medical field uses several substances to repair or replace the tissues that are damaged. The substances may be obtained from another human or animal. Usually tissues are taken from pigs as they are more close to the human. However, using biological substances will trigger the rejection of the substances by the human immune system. Sometime, surgeons use the prosthetic substances to replace the tissue. Generally, if they use the biological substances, that will be named as TRANSPLANT. When synthetic substances are used to replace tissues, it will be categorized as implants. Sometimes, implants are inserted in to the body to release substances periodically or continuously. Implant of hormone progestergen is a good example. This implant will act as a contraceptive device to the mother.
Liver, spleen, heart and skin are some of the transplants that are successfully performed for years. To reduce the immunological rejection, it’s preferred to get the transplant from a close relative specially brothers and sisters. Kidney can be donated while a person is alive. One kidney function is enough for a normal human to survive, but heart, cornea, and liver can only be obtained from a person after his death. The organ should be preserved within hours of a person’s death, to keep the tissue alive.
A lot of ethical issues are involved in tissue transplantation. The consent should be obtained from the donor beforehand. Therefore, registering to the donor list is important. Volunteer donors can register their names if they wish to donate their organs after death.
Unless the donor is an identical twin, the tissue donated to the patient is genetically different. So this will activate the immune system, and the immune system will fight against the donated tissue as they are foreign body to the patient. Therefore, suppressing the patient’s immune system in order to prevent the rejection is important in transplanted patient. The side effects of immune suppression may harm the patient.
Implants, specially the bone implants, are at risk of lodging the infection. Likewise, the heart valve implants may give rise to bacterial vegetation on the valves. To prevent the bacterial growth, the implants are usually coated with special coatings. Even implants are also foreign to the body; they are not attacked by the immune system as they are genetically inert.
What is the difference between Transplant and Implant?
• Transplants are biological tissues, which are used to replace the tissue or organ in the human. Implants are materials that are not live.
• Transplant needs immune suppression in donor, but implants do not need.
• Transplant will work as an active tissue in the human, while implants are mechanical support to the organ function.
• Implants may get infected, as they are foreign to the body, but transplants may be rejected by the body.
• A lot of ethical issues are involved in transplant, but implants do not have much.
• Transplants are lifelong, unless they are rejected by the body, but usually implants can be removed, if they are placed temporarily.