Category Archives: organ donation

I am contemplating being a kidney donor for my father who has polycystic kidney disease and am trying to find long-term data on health risks for a kidney donor. Most long-term data I have seen to date is very limited in nature and does not cover past 10-12 yrs. Are there any conclusive studies showing anticipated health risks for kidney donors? I am a 48 yr old male, caucasian, 5’9/165 lbs. Thank you for any resources you can point me toward. Regards.

This is difficult to answer for any specific individual. The most comprehensive document that I am aware of is the Kidney Disease: Improving Global Outcomes (KDIGO) Clinical Practice Guideline on the Evaluation and Care of Living Kidney Donors published in … Continue reading

Posted in Ask the Doctor, Chronic Kidney Disease, Donation, Hypertension/High Blood Pressure, Kidney Failure, Kidney-Related Health Questions, Living Donation, Nephrectomy / One kidney, organ donation, Polycystic Kidney Disease

2 years ago, my partner was diagnosed with Membranous Nephropathy – and we recently discovered he has heart disease (a stent was placed to open up a 95% blockage to one of the main arteries in the heart). While the catheterization was being done, they discovered 5 other less serious blockages – but have said that bypass surgery is required. The other blockages are not “stentable” – and given his impaired kidney functioning, we should prepare for a life of dialysis going forward after the surgery because the likelihood that he will have renal failure is high. We are seeking another opinion – but believe the recommendation will be the same. Any thoughts on how we might prevent renal failure in this situation – or is it truly something we need to mentally get ready to integrate into our life going forward? He is a non-smoker, 5’8″ and 140 lbs, not a diabetic and not a drinker – so we’re hopeful that at 48 he is still strong enough to navigate these challenges and live on. One onther question – if we were to consider a kidney transplant post bypass surgery – how long should we wait (with the assumption that he will have the standard recovery from heart surgery) We have large families and there’s many people offering up a kidney for him if that is the longer term outcomes. Thanks – appreciate your insight.

There is an increased risk of kidney failure from acute kidney injury after coronary bypass surgery. It is not a 100% absolute risk but the risk is relatively high. I am not able to give a medical opinion without performing … Continue reading

Posted in Acute Kidney Injury, Ask the Doctor, Dialysis, Kidney Failure, Kidney-Related Health Questions, organ donation, Transplantation

Hello doctor, I am very happy. I am from Ecuador. My brother suffers from kidney failure for 10 years and now he is 50. He has a strong cough at night and for about 7 months he has had a very intense stomach pain. A month ago he underwent surgery for an umbilical hernia and as of that date the doctors have changed the dialysis due to hemodialysis. His appetite has significantly reduced a month ago weighed 69 kgs and is currently weighing 55 kgs. The doctors do not find the cause of his pain. It was thought to be due to the hernia, but the pain continues. He is on the list of transplants in a public hospital in our country but my brother’s health has deteriorated very quickly and he needs a donor so we wanted to know if there is any possibility somewhere in his country or any foundation where they can help my brother although I know it is difficult but not impossible. He was like my father when my own father ignored us since I can remember and he helped my mother, me and my other 2 brothers to get ahead since he was very young. Please, please help us with the question about the cause of the pain and with my question about the transplant. Thanks in advance for your response.

I am unable to make a specific diagnosis without performing a complete history and physical examination. There are many causes of abdominal pain and further testing may be needed. I can only suggest that your brother consult with his primary … Continue reading

Posted in Ask the Doctor, Kidney-Related Health Questions, Nephrologist, organ donation, Transplantation

My daughter (54) just started dialysis. She is diabetic Type 1 since the age of 7. I am 74 and very healthy, only take Alendronate and Levothyroxine, exercise every day and am not overweight. I live in Florida and she lives in Ontario Canada. Should I get tested for compatibility to donate to her?

If your daughter is currently on the transplant list, then you can ask to be tested as a donor. It is necessary that she be evaluated first and deemed to be an acceptable recipient. Once she is on the list, … Continue reading

Posted in Ask the Doctor, Kidney-Related Health Questions, Living Donation, organ donation, Transplantation

Can I donate a kidney to my mom if I have breast implants. As she is B positive and I am also B positive.

I am not aware of any concern about breast implants for a potential kidney donor. Each transplant center is independent in making a determination of who will and who will not be permitted to be a kidney donor, but I … Continue reading

Posted in Ask the Doctor, Kidney-Related Health Questions, organ donation

My friend has Berger’s and I was curious about what would happen if someone with IgA deficient blood gave him a transfusion? Or transplant? Would it decrease the build up in his own kidneys ‘naturally’? I really am curious if this is an avenue researched have looked into… We both grew up in the same environmental area and attended the same school. I’ve always felt like I should donate my kidney, but my doctor has said not because of the IgA issue I have. I have IgA deficient, O positive blood.

The problem in IgA nephropathy (which is also known as Berger’s Disease) has to do with the abnormal way of making IgA so that the molecule is damaged. Someone with IgA nephropathy has a tendency to make abnormal IgA molecules … Continue reading

Posted in Ask the Doctor, IgA Nephropathy/IgA Dominant Glomerulonephritis, Kidney Failure, Kidney-Related Health Questions, organ donation, Transplantation

A relative had a living donor kidney transplant a little over a decade ago. The kidney is failing now, requiring dialysis and another transplant. The first time around, I did not get tested to be considered as a donor. I am type O and considering being tested this time around. I am internally struggling about the decision to be tested, however, because my spouse is a T1 diabetic and only time will tell if our young children develop T1DM as well. I am worried about the remote chance that someday one of them could require a kidney and what would happen if I’ve already donated one of mine. I know that waitlist priority is given to people who have already donated a kidney in the past, but are there any rules that would essentially transfer priority status to my spouse or kids if they ever needed a kidney and I already donated mine to my relative?

The United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) and the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN) have policy that allow individuals who have donated a kidney in the past and develop End Stage Kidney Disease and require a kidney transplant to … Continue reading

Posted in Ask the Doctor, Kidney-Related Health Questions, organ donation, Transplantation

Hello, I donated a kidney to my father in April of this year. My labs have always been great and never had any abnormalities with kidney function. I just had my 6 month follow up labs and my eGFR is slightly low (just out of range) my BUN was elevated as well. I have, however, been on the Ketogenic diet (which is high protien, high fat, low carbs). I was on it before the donation and lost 30+ pounds. But now with one kidney, I don’t know if this is what is causing my kidney function to change. I’m worried and not sure if to just go back to a more “normal” way of eating.

A high protein diet for a patient with one kidney should be avoided, in my estimation. High protein diets could be changing your blood chemistry and resulting in changes in your kidney function testing. I suggest that you discuss this … Continue reading

Posted in Ask the Doctor, Diet/Nutrition, Kidney-Related Health Questions, Nephrectomy / One kidney, organ donation

I am considering becoming a living donor for my brother. I recently suffered a stroke due to a blood condition – polycythemia vera. Will this prevent me from being a donor?

In most transplant centers, it is necessary for kidney donors to be “perfectly healthy”. Each center determines what that means and who will be able to donate a kidney. It is likely the Polycythemia Vera will increase your risk for … Continue reading

Posted in Ask the Doctor, Kidney-Related Health Questions, organ donation, Transplantation

I’ve been undergoing testing to donate a kidney to a friend who has a very difficult match. I’ve lowered my BMI and my cholesterol and undergone much repeat testing. The (hopefully) last hurrah is to identify the cause of the chronic trace of blood in my urine. I’m having my bladder scoped in 2 wks. If that is negative for any cysts or polyps, the next step they want to do is a kidney biopsy. This has been an 18 month journey. My nephrologist says that I will be rejected if this reveals TBM. Everything I’ve read about TBM says it’s basically asymptomatic and doesn’t interfere with good kidney function. I’ve never had a UTI in my 66 years. To admit the frustration my recipient and I are experiencing, you’ve probably heard it all! Any insights or words of wisdom? 2nd opinion? Thank you.

Thin basement membrane (TBM) disease is an uncommon disease that causes blood in the urine and is commonly associated with normal kidney function. There are no nationwide guidelines that tell you what to do for TBM patients and allowing them … Continue reading

Posted in Ask the Doctor, Kidney Biopsy, Kidney-Related Health Questions, organ donation