Comments
Archives

It is important that anyone considering donating a kidney is aware of the risks involved. 

Firstly let me say that altruistic donation (the operation and recovery etc) is no different to someone donating to a loved one. Here are some statistics *.

In the UK between 1 April 2009 and 31 March 2010:

  • 3,709 organ transplants were carried out, thanks to the generosity of 2,021 donors.
  • 978 lives were saved in the UK through a heart, lung, liver or combined heart/lungs, liver/kidney, liver/pancreas, heart/kidney or liver/kidney/pancreas transplant.
  • A total of 2,739 patients’ lives were dramatically improved by a kidney or pancreas transplant. 160 of whom received a combined kidney/pancreas transplant.
  • A further 3,099 people had their sight restored through a cornea transplant.
  • A record number of 552 non-heartbeating donor kidney transplants took place and accounted for one in five of all kidney transplants.
  • Living donor kidney transplants are increasing – 475 in 2004-05, 589 in 2005-06, 690 in 2006-07, 831 in 2007-08, 927 in 2008-09 and 1,038 in 2009-10 – and now represent more than one in three of all kidney transplants.
  • Almost a million more people pledged to help others after their death by registering their wishes on the NHS Organ Donor Register, bringing the total to 17,400,213(September 2010).
  •  

As you can see from the above, more than 1 in 3 kidney transplants are via living donors.  There may only have been a small amount of altruistic donors so far, but the law allowing that only came into force at the end of 2006.

Did you know that a kidney transplant from a deceased person – the kidney has a life expectancy of only around 10 years. A kidney transplant from a Living Donor – the kidney has a life expectancy of around 20 years!

Yes there are risks involved. There are in any operation.  What must be pointed out though is the doctors would not allow this operation to take place on any individual if the risks were not minimal. The rigorous tests a donor is put through prior to being accepted as a donor makes sure they are very fit and healthy.  It was explained to me that a reaction to the anaesthetic could occur. Something unexpected could occur during the operation itself.  This is very unlikely but no operation is without some risk however small.  There could be post op complications but again, very minimal and doctors are on top of watching out for any complications. It is also up to the donor that once they leave hospital to make sure they take care of themselves during recovery and seek advice from a doctor should they suspect anything unusual.  Regular checks after the operation will ensure kidney function is performing as it should. 

Immediately after the operation there is a small risk of chest infection, being a non smoker certainly reduces that risk …. but it can happen after any operation, even though the risks are small.  A blood clot could form – again very unlikely.  I asked what precautions are taken to prevent blood clots and was told that my bloods ability to clot was tested before hand. That for the operation I would wear these special long socks – anti-embolism stockings (do a google but I am not sure if they are full length ones or below knee ones).  Some special calf wraps that gently compress the lower leg to aid blood circulation.  I would be given heparin to thin the blood slightly. I would be constantly monitored.  More details on the above can be given by any Transplant unit or your doctor.

As for living with only one kidney afterwards that does not present a problem to me.   The remaining kidney will slightly enlarge as it takes on some extra work.  There is no reason why I can’t go back to a totally normal life afterwards.  Very active people have donated and carried on with an active life afterwards just as before. Some people are born with only one kidney but don’t know it. They feel perfectly well with just one. I am no more likely to get kidney disease becuase I only have one kidney.  Generally a kidney problem would affect both kidneys, so having one would present no greater risk.  Playing a contact sport (boxing, rugby etc) where a blow could occur to a kidney should be avoided if possible or a protective belt worn. I don’t think I am likely to take up one of those sports! …. me = wimp!   After the operation the GFR levels do drop slightly then then rise again.  There can be slightly less function with one kidney but one has to remember that we have a surplus of available “function” that is never used. So a slight drop in function and the kidney still works just as good as before. There is an extra risk of hypertension occuring later in life but a good and healthy lifestyle is the rule to follow.  I had all the risks thoroughly explained to me and I asked many questions relating to them. I also did a lot of research myself as to what complications donors have had. Some have had nerve pain for a while afterwards, digestion problems and other things that with time disappeared. Every answer given was more than acceptable to me as a very lo risk indeed.   With only one kidney drinking sufficient amounts of water each day is helpful. If possible NSAID’s should be avoided as they “may” cause a problem for the kidney.  Normally with two kidneys not a great problem but when you only have one then perhaps being that little bit more aware of what does or does not go into our bodies should be considered.  There can also be a huge emotional surge within us. Some people have told me they got quite bad depression, rather like post natal depression that lasted many weeks. If that happens to you, don’t just take it. Ask for help in dealing with it.

To me there is a greater risk each time I get into my car and go on the road where I am likely to come across drivers with no licenses, drivers under the influence, drivers that are just plain bad drivers. They don’t wear stickers on their cars saying “avoid me”. Yet I choose to take that risk.    People who smoke know they are taking a huge risk and putting  their health at risk.  People who regularly go out and drink excessively…. they know they are damaging their health, yet still do it!  People climb huge mountains; jump out of airplanes;  take part in extreme sports – they love the adrenaline rush and the challenge, yet know there are risks.   They are hailed as amazing people for achieving these things – yes they are – they have far more courage than I do. We all do things, knowing the risks, accepting them – yet the risks involved in donating a kidney to me are far far far less than a lot of those risks. 

* Statistics taken from here   http://www.uktransplant.org.uk/ukt/statistics/statistics.jsp
Share

89 Responses to “Living with one kidney – Living kidney donation – risks explained”

  • Lisa:

    Hi I have a quick question. Pregnant again, only one month after delivering my daughter what are the risks for my body and the new baby?

  • Diane:

    Hi Lisa,
    I am not sure I understand the question. Are you asking about donating a kidney? You would have to wait until after the birth of your child and a while after that so your body can heal.

    All the best
    Di

  • Susanna:

    Dear all

    I have just found out that my boyfriend has only one kidney, and I wanted to find out what sort of food should I avoid cooking and what sort of food a good for him, ie will he be able to eat spicy food (not very hot just a hint) your advise would be much appreciated

  • Diane:

    Hi Susanna,
    Thanks for posting. I am no expert on what are the best or not best foods when having one kidney. From what you have said, it sounds like he was born with one kidney rather than had one removed? If that is the case then actually there are quite a few people that are only born with one kidney and they never know it until they have a check for something. All I can say is what I was told at the hospital after my kidney was removed. I was told to make sure I drink plenty of water to help flush the kidney through. Not to take NSAID’s i.e. ibuprofen or asprin as that can thin the blood and make it harder for the single kidney. Having said that, the pharmacist who told me that, said not all hospitals agree on that, but there is a slight risk when only having one kidney, so to mention that fact to a doctor each time he wants to prescribe something. And lastly I was told just to eat healthily. So I had a Mexican at the weekend, fajitas, only a small one as I need to lose weight (unrelated to kidney) but it was nicely spicy and my weekly treat (which normall is a chinese), I thoroughly enjoyed it and it won’t do me any harm. So basically, as long as the kidney is a healthy kidney then he just needs to eat sensibly. Not too much of sugary things or too much salt etc, that is not good for anyone. The only other advice is if he plays contact sports he may wish to consider a protective belt when he plays. A top famous rugby player, Jonah Lomu, was diagnosed with a rare kidney disorder and had a kidney transplant so only one kidney works and that the one given to him. But he is top of his game and wears a protective belt. So really, nothing special needs to be done except to be sensible with his diet which to be honest we should all be doing anyway. High blood pressure and diabetes are two bad things that can affect the kidneys, so a healthy lifestyle should help avoid those.

    As I said, I am no health expert and can only tell you the advice given to me after I had kidney removed. Really he just needs to be sensible and eat healthily but nothing wrong with having a spicy meal occasionally at all.

    Hope that helps, but if you are still concerned then get him to speak with the doctor or whoever for their advice.

    Di

  • Susanna:

    Thank you Di. As he still has not seen the specialist as yet not due to see him until the29 December can you believe.

    He is healthy and he is being more cautious, Your advise really helped and also eased my mine on what he can eat as I do lke to cook and he is my little genea pig for all the recipes that I collect.

  • Diane:

    Hi Susanna,
    Thanks for posting back. If you ever hear of anything he should keep away from do let us know. Good luck for him on 29th December!!
    Di
    x

  • Susanna:

    Hello Di

    I hope you had a nice Christams, and Hope you have a lovely New Year.

    My boyfriend went to see the specialist today, and we still do not know what he can or cannot eat, as he still have to go for more test ie MRI and CT and blood test, Urine test, so there is still a long wait, but according to the specialist said he should be find if he eats balance meal, but still not sure, as my best mate said that he should avoid spicy food and oily food so not sure as yet, but I will let you know more when i find out.

    Susanna

  • Diane:

    Hi Susanna,
    Yes had lovely Christmas thanks, hope you did also.

    When your friend says to avoid spicy and oily foods really he is saying what the specialist is saying .. eat healthily. You can eat spicy foods, just don’t have them every day. As for oily foods … you need to keep away from stuff like fried foods, and foods cooked in the bad oils. If you need to use oil for cooking with use say olive oil which is healthier for you. But this isnt just for people with one kidney, this is for everyone. No one should be eating lots of oily foods or spicy foods say every day.

    Well balanced is what is needed for foods. i.e. not too much of anything but also making sure you get enough proteins and other things that the body requires. Keep away from processed foods, definitely keep away from hydrogenated fats. Eat veggies and fruits as well as the healthy meats i.e. chicken, turkey is high in protein and good for you .. without the skin! Don’t fry the foods if you can help it. If you do then use extra virgin olive oil.

    The only three things I was told about regarding eating and one kidney was keep hydrated. That I did anyway as I always drink about 1.5 litres water per day. Watch the sodium (salt) intake. A lot of foods are high in salt anyway, so try not to add any to cooking. Careful on buying Lo-salts as often the potassium then shoots up in the salt. Keep away from NSAID’s medication. Otherwise I was told to just eat healthily. I was told I could eat whatever meals I wanted (taking into account not too much salt etc) but not to over indulge in any one food and to make sure I ate a balanced selection of foods. To put it simply, eat healthily, whether one or two kidneys.

    I see no reason for you to stay away from cooking spicy foods as long as it is not every day of the week. Again it boils down to “well balanced” foods.

    Where possible get organic foods, fresh foods. If you buy packaged foods check the additives and preservatives and if you don’t know what each of the chemicals do, then research on google and make a decision as to whether harmful or not. Something used occasionally can be perfectly OK, but if used every day may not be OK …

    Really, just make sure meals are well balanced, dont over indulge in any one type, keep low on the sodium and only use oils for cooking with if really necessary and then preferably something like extra virgin olive oil. This is for everyone, not just someone with one kidney.

    Why is your boyfriend having his kidney tested, do you suspect there is something wrong? In which case there may be dietary restrictions which only the surgeon or hospital dietician can give you advice on.

    If you really are worried, then ask the hospital if your boyfriend and you can see the hospital dietician ….. as really that is where the best advice can come from, as I don’t know the health of your boyfriend but the hospital does.

    Keep in touch
    Di
    x

  • Partha:

    Hello,
    My father had a kidney operation two years back as his one of kidney(left one) was damaged PUJ obstruction. Now He is having one kidney(left one). Its size is 9.5 cm. Before operation its size was 12 cm.I want to know why it has got decreased.Is there any risk associated with it or the size still is in normal state.

  • Diane:

    Hi Partha,
    I am no medical expert at all. You really do need to speak with your father’s nephrologist to discuss this. Maybe the illness made it large and now it has gone back to normal? Or maybe there is something that needs looking at ….. I really do not know. Please speak with nephrologist to get it explained to you. Sorry cannot be of more help to you. But please feel free to post back if you wish to just chat or you can contact me via the contact link at top of this page.
    Best Wishes
    Di
    x

  • Rodney Stich:

    There is a serious omission here, and I am experiencing the problem.With only one kidney, a CT scan becames a significant risk due to the contrasting dye used. In my case, after kidney removal due to cancer, the oncologist won’t perform a CT due to the risk of kidney damage.

  • Diane:

    Hi Rodney,
    Thanks for posting. Sorry to hear you have had kidney cancer. What a worrying time for you.

    I think the difference here is that when donating a kidney both kidneys are very healthy. Yes I agree if one already has kidney damage then the dye used in a CT Scan might cause a problem, it is a small risk, but a risk none the less and so may not be used on the remaining kidney. In the case of donating though the remaining kidney is a very healthy one and it is very important that as much information as possible is got about the kidney before extraction of one.

    Having donated the kidney, yes we are then left with only one and should that one become damaged in the future and require a CT scan then I am sure the medical people will weigh up the pros and cons and act in our best interests.

    Here is some information regarding the risks of a CT Scan
    “There are a few small risks. The contrast dye used in the test can damage your kidneys, especially if they are already impaired by disease.However, some newer dyes are less likely to cause kidney injuries. If kidney damage does occur, this is usually temporary, although in some rare cases it becomes permanent. If you are allergic to the dye used in the procedure, you may get a rash or your blood pressure may drop enough to make you feel faint until you get treatment. As with x-rays, there is a small exposure to radiation. The amount of radiation from a CT scan is greater than that from regular x-rays, but it’s still too small to be likely to cause harm unless you’re pregnant”

    I hope that explains the risks of a CT scan to people reading this.

    There are risks to quite a lot of medical procedures. The pros and cons have to be weighed up. It is good to know that the medical people looking after us won’t put us through any tests unnecessarily.

    Hopefully before long a dye can be produced and used that has no risks at all.

    Thank you for pointing this out to us.

    All the best
    Di

  • Mary White:

    Dear Di,

    Hope you are well, just a quick note to let you know that all went very well with my operation last Monday in Dublin. I was able to leave hospital on the Wednesday and travel accross Dublin to see my nephew who was in the childrens hospital.He is making a fantastic recovery as well and is hoping to be discharged very soon.

    I would like to thankyou for your kind words and encouragement you sent at a time when i was extremely anxious.

    I hope in the future i can help someone in the way you have helped me.

    Kindest regards

    Maryxx

  • Diane:

    Hi Mary,
    Thank you sooo much for taking the time to tell me how things went. I have been thinking about you both and was wondering how things are. So delighted your nephew is making such a great recovery – you too! What wonderful news. Please keep in touch with how you are both doing. Bet your family are so so proud of you.
    With love
    Di
    xxxx

  • john guest:

    i am 62 i would like to donate a kidney is that possible

  • Diane:

    Hi John,
    Thanks for making contact. Yes you can donate at 62 years old. There is no upper age limit, it is all down to how healthy you are. The oldest altruistic donor in the UK to date is 82 years old – so you are just a spring chicken!!
    All the best
    Di
    x

  • Aqeel:

    hi my name is aqeel I am 22 years old one of uncle got kidney problem he is taking dialysis I really want to give him one of my kidney can you tell me after donation can I live a normal life after that what are the risks of donations??? will u please explain me every thing about donation..

  • Diane:

    Hello Aqueel,
    Yes you can live a perfectly normal life after donating a kidney. We only need one. If you look at the left of this page, at the top is “become a donor” that gives the whole story of my donation, which lists the risks, evaluation tests and everything else you should want to know. I suggest you start with the first link “kidney donor evaluation begins” and read your way through all the posts and comments. You will learn a lot. If after doing that you have further questions then please ask.
    Di
    x

  • A J:

    Thanks for all the info, reaching the final stages of the donation process and everything about post op/lifestyle is all reassuring.

    Thanks again.

  • Diane:

    Hi A.J.
    So glad this website has helped. Exciting times ahead for you. Would love to hear how it all goes later, if you feel you would like to share.

    Thanks for posting
    Di
    x

  • Hi Diane.
    Your write up has been most encouraging. I’m 38 and would like to know the risks (if any) of pregnancy after being a live kidney donor. Also how long would one have to wait after the operation before being pregnant? Are there after effects that are not being mentioned? I would greatly appreciate answers if you have any. thanks.

  • Diane:

    Hi Helen,
    That is an excellent question and will get the answer for you and post back when I have it.
    All the best
    Di
    x

  • Diane:

    Hi Helen,
    I have made some enquiries and if you go to this page on the British Transplant Society website http://www.bts.org.uk/transplantation/standards-and-guidelines/
    and you can download a .pdf on “UK Guidelines on Living Kidney Donation”. It is the third link down. Page 187 gives information on pregnancy after donation. From the studies they have done there appears to be no adverse affect. Of course any pregnancy can have its own complications so really this is something you need to speak to the transplant team about as they can check your medical history and ask the necessary questions. I also happen to know that there have been many bouncing healthy babies born to donors. There is not much in the literature to suggest there should be a problem but you need to ask for yourself from the hospital and then weigh up the information given. I know many live donors [female] are of child bearing age.
    Hope this helps.

  • jane shore:

    hELLO!
    dO YOU HAPPEN TO KNOW IF IT IS LIKELY A LIVING DONOR WHO IS A FAMILY MEMBER, IE, SISTER TO BROTHER NEEDING A NEW KIDNEY, IS USUALLY A GOOD MATCH?
    tHANKS!
    JANE

  • Diane:

    Hi Jane,
    I believe that there is a 25%+ chance of a relative being a match. It is not just blood group that comes into play but a lot of other things including tissue type matching. The only way you will really know is to get tested for being a match. I may be wrong on that percentage but I know just because you are a relative, even a close one (sister to brother) does not mean you will necessarily be compatible. There are no guarantees. Best thing is go get checked.
    Hope that helps
    All the best
    Di
    x

  • Thank you so much Diane. The link helped a great deal

  • Emma:

    Hi, I was just wondering if there is a minimum age limit? I’m 17 and considering registering to become a living donor. Thanks 🙂

  • Diane:

    Hi Emma,
    Thanks for posting. There is no “legal” lower or upper age to become a living donor. But having said that, at 17 years of age you are not legally an adult yet and I would expect you would require your parents written consent to do this. It would also be up to the Transplant Centre as to whether they would accept you for evaluation at that age. Your best bet is to contact the local transplant unit and have an initial chat with them. That way you will know exactly where you stand on this.
    Hope that helps,
    All the very best
    Di
    x

  • Emilia:

    hi Diane,

    i want to donate my kidney to my brother, but he lives in france, do you know how much will it cost for him to have the operation here in uk.
    i would like also to thank for all this information about donor, i was really scared .

  • Diane:

    Hi Emilia,
    I really do not know. Normally the donor goes to the recipient as they are the one that is fit and well. It can be hard for a recipient to travel and then to spend weeks or more recovering enough to travel back home. From that point of view would suggest you look into travelling to france to donate as you will be fit enough to travel back here very soon after the operation. If for some reason taht is not possible, then I don’t know about your brother coming here for a donation. I think the best thing is for you to contact the NHSBT directly as they are in charge of living donation. Their email is enquiries@nhsbt.nhs.uk. They will be able to answer all your questions regarding this.

    Good luck!!
    Di
    x

  • rahul:

    I am planning to donate my one kidney to one of my blood relative. Our blood group is same. I am 30 years old and planning to get married next year. I want to know the risk involved in this transplantation. Will i be able to lead a healthy and prosperous family life?

  • Diane:

    Hi Rahul,
    People with only one kidney have no greater risk of developing health problems than the general population. Of course it doesn’t mean you wont ever get a kidney problem, but only having one does not increase the risk of this happening.

    As far as the operation itself, yes there are risks although they are low. 1:3000 risk of dying; as a direct result of the operation there could be infection, bleeding and pain. Being a kidney donor though means you go into the operation as a fit and healthy person. Also the medical team is on hand to constantly monitor your recovery while in hospital.

    However only your own medical team can assess you and the risk involved as they will have your medical history.

    It is a wonderful thing you are wanting to do, to gift your kidney to a relative of yours.

    If I can be of further assistance please just ask.
    All the best
    Di

  • somthuk:

    My father is 61, he wants to donate a kidney to his son 32. Is there any risk related for a donor after the operation? Will there be any risk for the donor if he takes an alcohol after the surgery.

  • Diane:

    Hi there,
    There are always risks with/after any surgery. But they are minimal. your father would need to keep an eye out for infection in the incision area. There could be chest infection and other risks. But to be honest a lot depends on your fathers current health and the transplant team can advise him far better as they know his health. Some people get discomfort/pain for a while after, others do not ….. a man can get swelling in the left testical (if donating left kidney) which can last a few days, (support pants recomeneded for after surgery) but a lot of men dont get this …. we are all different and we all react differently to operations. Generally the risks are very very small.

    As for alcohol, personally I would say keep away from it fewdays before surgery and after surgery until body is well on the mend. Then ideally one should never have an excess of alcohol.

    You are best talking to medical advisor at the transplant centre as they will know your fathers health better.

  • sanket:

    both the kidneys of my uncle has failed and my aunty his real wife wants to donate kidney !! she is 40 years old and also vry fit !! can u pls tell me the complications she can have or what problems she can face during donating the kidney ??

  • Diane:

    Hi Sanket,
    So sorry about your uncle. Okay should your Aunty go ahead with donating a kidney then yes there are risks. With any operation there are risks. With donating a kidney the risks are deemed as being very minimal which is why so many people put themselves forward to donate one. There is a risk of death 1:3000 – compare that though to the risk of death due to a hip replacement which is 1:1000 – donating a kidney is very minimal. No one ni the UK has ever died from donating a kidney. With any operation that involves a general anaesthetic there can be risk of chest infection or pneumonia. There is also a risk of a blood clot. They are minimal risks and certainly in the UK donors are wired up to machines and monitors that keep a very close watch on them after donation, so the slightest sign of a problem and it can be caught early. Once a donor leaves hospital then it is up to them to keep a close watch on their recovery and any signs that worry them i.e. unusual pain, or infection of incision, or a cough or any sign of say a chest infection then must immdiately get medical advice and not wait to “see what it is like next day”.

    I donated a kidney and had I felt the risks were too high I would not have donated. But we must not be complacent after donation and need to keep an eye on things.

    Hope that helps and I do hope your uncle gets a kidney very soon.
    All the best
    Di
    x

  • Neil:

    Hi Diane, I have read your blog with great interest as i am donating my left kidney to my 14 year old daughter on the 24th January, I am 37 & have nearly finished my evaluation test’s, we are just waiting for the appointment to see the Independent Assessor from the HTA. Thank you for giving such an in depth description of what is involved in donating, it really has helped me understand the procedure.

    Regards Neil.

  • Diane:

    Hi Neil,
    24th January not that far ahead now. What a wonderful start to the year the donation will be for your whole family. I am glad my site has helped and if you have any questions please do just post and ask or use the “contact” link at top right of page.

    I have marked on my calendar the 24th Jan and will be thinking of you both on that day.

    All the very best
    Di
    x

  • Neil:

    Hi Di,
    Thank you for your comments, will be in touch after the transplant to let you know how it went.

    Regards Neil.

  • Angela Berry:

    Hi Di I came home yesterday 2 days after the donation. Have to say its somewhat painful but I am enjoying the total rest! My brother is doing as expected although its to early to know exactly how he is responding, everything looks as it should so that’s great news. I’m sure most of the pain is wind! LOL fingers crossed for my brother, and thanks again for all the advice hope the move went well xxxx

  • Diane:

    Hi Angela,
    I am so glad to have heard from you. Please it has all gone well and yes fingers and toes crossed for your brother!!

    There can be quite a bit of discomfort/pain from the gas they inflate your abdomen with, lol. It can also migrate up into the shoulder area and cause discomfort, but should go after a few days.

    I didnt actually take pain relief after the first two nights as I found the pain was a reminder to take things steady and not overdo anything. Hope your pain calms down soon ….. enjoy the rest!!!!

    please let me know how your brother gets on ….
    Thanks for updating me

    Yes my move was sort of okay …. things to do you dont expect but hey that’s the “joys” of moving I suppose. 🙂
    Di
    zxxx

  • Danyel:

    Hi Diane
    I am in the process of getting ready to donate one of my kidneys to my oldest sister. I was just wanted to know if you know of any doner actually dying from this. Do you think it is appororate to ask the doctor about his personal record of this matter. I also understand that you can only take 8 weeks off accordint to some law.

  • Diane:

    Hi Danyel,
    I have not heard of a donor dying from donating in this country. I know the stats say 1 in 3000 and there is always a risk with any major surgery. Yes it is very appropriate i would think to ask a doctor that question.

    Only take 8 weeks off work? I really don’t know. Do you mean take 8 weeks with sick pay or??

    All the best
    Di

  • Daniel:

    My girlfriend only has half a kidney that works she keeps going in and out of hospital and I will give her one of my kidneys to keep her alive how can I find out where to be tested because I need to help her because she is my soul mate one true love. Please comment if any one can help me.

  • Diane:

    Hi Daniel,
    So sorry about your girlfriend. What you need to do is speak to the coordinator at her renal unit about wanting to donate one of your kidneys to her. It may be you are not a match in which case there is pooled donation – ask the hospital about that if you are not a match.

    Hope you get to donate your kidney to her. That would be just great!
    All the best
    Di

  • Daniel:

    Thank you Daine for your replay my girlfriend will not let me get a test done and now I am worrying like crazy that I will lose her if she can not get a donor kidney please can you let me no how long you think she may have left before she may die because I can’t lose her and I will go and get the test done if she has not got long left before she may die.

  • Diane:

    Hi Daniel,
    I am afraid this is something you have to discuss with your girlfriend and her specialist doctor, noone can answer that question except for them. Lets put it this way, once a kidney loses a certain amount of function then the person can go onto dialysis? has that been spoken about yet? her going on dialysis? Maybe it is not an option, I don’t know. But people on dialysis can go on for year and years before it becomes paramount they get a kindey. My recipient was on dialysis for 6 years and some have been on dialysis for well over 10 years …. each person, though, is different and it all depends on their remaining kidney function and other aspects of their healthy. Noone can answer that question for you I am afraid except your girlfriend and her medical team.

    You need to sit down with your girlfriend and ask her about her illness, ask if you can go with her to one of her appointments so you can try and understand more about it.

    Has your girlfriend got any family who could be tested?

    I am sorry I cannot give you the answer you are after but I am not medically trained to do so. I am here though, if you just want to chat or talk about your girlfriend and the situation you are both in. You can always contact me privately, use the Contact link at the top of the page.

    All the very best — chin up 🙂
    Di
    x

  • tony h-ellary:

    hi

    just to let you know i donated a kidney back in 2002 to my sister

    we had the op at oxford and all was absolutly fine i was back at work in less than 5 weeks my sister is a nurse and is also back at work 10 years on her new kidney is failing but she has a condition that kills them …. she has said she wants to go back to oxford when the time comes for her next op …. i had professor friend oppersate on me and i still go back yearly for check ups……..although my sister is now under leicester….
    if you need details or infomation about the roller coaster ride of emotions during the tests ect please let me know as id be happy to talk with you

    i was 100% but i come from a big family and some of my other sisters were a good match tho not 100% so my sister has a few to choose from 🙂

    tony

  • Diane:

    Hi Tony,
    Thanks for posting. I hope your sister manages to get another kidney quite soon. With a large family as you say, fingers crossed one of them will be a match.

    2002 was quite some time ago as regards kidney donation and I bet you would be surprised at the leaps and bounds that have happened since then, lol.

    I donated my kidney via keyhole surgery in 2010 and the links down the left under “become a donor” detail the experience of the evaluation, operation day and recovery. The About link at the top give a bit more information. Was back home after 2 days.

    Churchill is a great hospital and I too go for annual check ups.
    All the best, and thanks for posting
    Di

  • tony h-ellary:

    thanks di

    yes shes all sorted and ready to go …. just waiting as to when the other one finaly fails….. 2 days thats fantastic …. they did think about keyhole but decided it was too risky back then so it was the old way

    tony

Leave a Reply