Category Archives: Nephrectomy / One kidney

I had a kidney tumor removed (partial nephrectomy) – was clear cell renal carcinoma limited to the kidney – grade 1 (2.4cm) but stage 4 (WHO/ISUP 4) with clean margins. Pathology said it had sarcomatoid differentiation (95% sarcomatoid element) and extensive necrosis, extreme nuclear pleomorphism, multinucleate giant cells and /or rhabdoid sarcomatoid differentiation. Adrenal gland not identified and regional lymph noded pnx (could not be assessed. Pt1a grade. 5 questions: 1. Because it was grade 4 my doctor is recommending full removal of the kidney in 6 weeks. Is that the recommended course of action – is it likely that recurrence would be at that kidney again and removal lessens my chance of recurrence? 2. Should I have a PET scan, brain scan, bone scan, etc now since it was grade 4? They are saying just a chest CT is required now? 3. Is my likelihood of recurrence or distant metastes high because it was grade 4 even though it was very small stage 1a? Lots of conflicting information? 4. If the tumor was removed am I considered disease free and now just need aggressive regular surveillance? 5. How would I know if there was microvascular invasion and is the necrosis and sarcomatoid indicators of a recurrance? I’m quite scared so thank you so much for answering my questions!

The questions that you ask are surgical questions and must be asked of a urologist.  I am a nephrologist and do not have any surgical expertise in regards to kidney cancers.  If you have concerns about the opinions of your … Continue reading

Posted in Ask the Doctor, Chronic Kidney Disease, Kidney Cancer, Kidney-Related Health Questions, Nephrectomy / One kidney, Treatments, Urological Issues

My aunt had stomach cancer surgery 2 weeks ago and developed complications, one of which is her kidneys are not functioning properly. They are talking about dialysis. How many treatments would be standard and would she have to be on it the rest of her life? Right now she is not aware enough to make the decisions for herself. We were also wondering if the kidney function would be part of the problem making her incoherent. Any advice you could give would be greatly appreciated.

In this situation, you must consult with the physicians who are caring for your aunt.  I am unable to provide a prognosis or recommendations for treatment without knowing the complete medical history of your aunt and performing a complete examination. … Continue reading

Posted in Acute Kidney Injury, Ask the Doctor, Blood/Urine Testing For Kidney Disease, Chronic Kidney Disease, Kidney-Related Health Questions, Laboratory Testing, Nephrectomy / One kidney, Nephrologist, Treatments

Hello, Dr. Spry, I donated my left kidney in 2014. Since then, I’ve been told I have osteoporosis and should take Fosamax and calcium. Does this regimen have any effect on my kidney?

As long as your remaining kidney has normal function and the estimated glomerular filtration rate is greater than 30 milliliter per minute per 1.73 meters squared, then Fosamax (alendronate) can be used safely to treat osteoporosis.  This should not have … Continue reading

Posted in Ask the Doctor, Chronic Kidney Disease, Kidney-Related Health Questions, Medication and Kidney Function, Nephrectomy / One kidney, Treatments

What changes in diet are recommended following the removal of one kidney? Will I still be able to drink wine?

You should be able to drink wine in moderation with a single kidney.  There are no specific diets for a single kidney but I am a strong advocate for the DASH diet and limiting salt in the diet.  I suggest … Continue reading

Posted in Ask the Doctor, Nephrectomy / One kidney

A couple of years ago my mom had to have one kidney removed due to a cancerous tumor. Surgery was the only treatment needed as it had not spread anywhere. She has had a clean bill of heath since then. She deals with restless leg syndrome and chronic insomnia, but is very leary of taking medications that may affect her remaining kidney. I had checked into the use of valerian for a sleep aid, but different sources are conflicting on the effect of it on your kidneys. Is it safe to use, or is there a better alternative for insomnia?

I have no experience with valerian as a sleep aid.  I do not have any information about the use of valerian in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD).  

Posted in Ask the Doctor, Chronic Kidney Disease, Kidney-Related Health Questions, Medication and Kidney Disease, Medication and Kidney Function, Nephrectomy / One kidney, Symptoms and Side Effects, Treatments

Hello, I am 40 yrs old and have had only 1 functioning kidney since birth. Over the last 7 months, I have been experiencing pain, somewhat unbearable at times, on my left side which is the non-developed kidney. The local hospital said it was pulled muscle in my lower back. There is no other area on my back that is sore. But, the only time it is really sore is when I have to pee early in morning, or sometimes if I have to hold it a little longer, I will get sore. I have never had any other issues with my kidney. Can you help or point me in the right direction. My family doctor has just recently taken blood work also. I know my body and I know that something doesn’t feel right.

I am unable to provide a specific diagnosis based on the symptoms that you describe.  Pain is a very unusual symptom of chronic kidney disease and should not cause pain on the side of a missing kidney.  I suggest that … Continue reading

Posted in Ask the Doctor, Blood/Urine Testing For Kidney Disease, Chronic Kidney Disease, Kidney-Related Health Questions, Laboratory Testing, Nephrectomy / One kidney, Symptoms and Side Effects

Hi, my son was born with only one kidney. We just found out, he is 31 years old! How is it possible we never knew?

Many people are born with one kidney and this can sometime be found incidentally while looking for something else.  Abdominal ultrasounds and computerized tomographic (CT) scans, done for other reasons may find that someone has one kidney and no symptoms … Continue reading

Posted in Ask the Doctor, Blood/Urine Testing For Kidney Disease, Chronic Kidney Disease, Kidney-Related Health Questions, Laboratory Testing, Nephrectomy / One kidney

My left kidney was removed in 2009 due to cancer. The cancer popped back up again on my Right Adrenal Gland which was removed in 2014. In August 2016 they found a spot on my remaining Right Kidney which was too small at the time. I go back for my next scans in March. If it turns out this has grown, will they be able to do a Partial Nephrectomy? If not what can they do?

The question that you ask is a urological problem and should be addressed to a urologist.  I am a nephrologist and have no experience with kidney surgery.  A urologist is a surgeon and deals with tumors and cancers of the … Continue reading

Posted in Ask the Doctor, Blood/Urine Testing For Kidney Disease, Kidney Cancer, Kidney-Related Health Questions, Laboratory Testing, Nephrectomy / One kidney, Symptoms and Side Effects, Treatments, Urological Issues

I am a 40 year old woman. I donated my left kidney to my mom in 2001. My labs for the last few years have shown creatinine of 1.02-1.04 and a GFR of 58-60. Should I be concerned? I’m not sure if I should make an appointment with a nephrologist to discuss kidney care after donation.

A serum creatinine of 1.02 – 1.04 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dl) and an estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) between 58 and 60 milliliters per minute per 1.73 meters squared is normal for a single functioning kidney.  I suggest that you … Continue reading

Posted in Ask the Doctor, Blood/Urine Testing For Kidney Disease, Donation, GFR, Kidney-Related Health Questions, Laboratory Testing, Living Donation, Nephrectomy / One kidney, organ donation, Symptoms and Side Effects, Urinary Tract Infection/Pyelonephritis, Urological Issues

I am 42 years old. I am living in Ethiopia (east Africa). I lost my right kidney because of renal mass in 2007. Currently, on my left kidney there is attenuating left renal mass. Now I am really worried. Dr. please what do you advise me?

The problem that you pose is a urological problem and is treated by a urologist.  You should address your question to a urologist.  I am a nephrologist and have no expertise in kidney tumors or cancer.  

Posted in Ask the Doctor, Kidney Cancer, Kidney-Related Health Questions, Laboratory Testing, Nephrectomy / One kidney, Urological Issues