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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb. 18, 2007
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    Missouri
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    818

    Default Kidney Transplant - What to Expect and Comfort - Update!

    Well, next month my son is donating his kidney to my husband.
    I'm already getting stressed out at the thought of both of them being in surgery at the same time. I know a lot of you out there have medical backgrounds. I guess I just need to know it will be O.K. and what to expect.
    My hubby's is 52 and his kidneys still function marginally, my son is 24.
    Don't know when I'll be able to get out to the barn - will miss my boy during this stressful time.
    Thanks for any input!
    Last edited by WB Mom; Nov. 23, 2012 at 09:04 AM.
    Some days the best thing about my job is that the chair spins.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb. 1, 2001
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    Finally...back in civilization, more or less
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    11,369

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    Transplant medicine is really very advanced these days. While it's obviously not an insignificant procedure, it is now quite common, and typically everything goes exactly as planned.

    If you are unsure about aspects of the procedure (i.e., the surgery itself, how long it will take, what the potential complications are, etc,) then reach out to the surgeon's office or call the hospital where the procedure is being done. Pretty much all transplant services have nurse navigators or similar staff who can answer your questions, explain the details, and steer you toward other resources that you might find helpful.

    Hang in there.
    **********
    We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.
    -PaulaEdwina



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov. 17, 2006
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    3,225

    Default

    I don't have any advice, only best wishes and hopes for speedy recoveries for all involved.
    “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”
    ¯ Oscar Wilde



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug. 12, 2010
    Location
    Westford, Massachusetts
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    Default

    I know nothing about the transplant process, but just want to say that that is a wonderful and generous thing your son is doing for his father. I work at a large dialysis services provider and being on dialysis is not a very pleasant existence.

    Best wishes and good health to both of them!!



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct. 30, 2008
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    2,947

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    What Lucassb said. Each hospital will have slightly different protocols, so I'd start with the coordinator for your hospital. Lots of (((((hugs)))) and jingles!
    Flip a coin. It's not what side lands that matters, but what side you were hoping for when the coin was still in the air.

    You call it boxed wine. I call it carboardeaux.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan. 30, 2010
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    Alberta
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    One of my students has her dad's kidney. She was pretty young (thinking 12ish?) when the transplant happened and it went well for both her and her dad. She is on medication for life, but it doesn't slow her down at all!

    My understanding is that Kidney transplants are pretty routine now, and that the procedure is straightforward, particularly when a close relative is the donor.

    Hopefully you can find a way to distract yourself until the operation day, and please let us know how it goes!



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec. 31, 2000
    Location
    El Paso, TX
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    Default

    No advice, but sending you hugs. And admiring what a good job you and your husband did instilling values in your son. What a caring unselfish thing your son is doing.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar. 22, 2004
    Location
    Houston
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    Default

    My dad did this for his brother a little less than a year ago - Dad made it home 2 days later, in time for Christmas, and even with a minor complication, his brother was out of the hospital in about a week.

    My uncle was probably a few months away from having to start dialysis, so he had been gradually going downhill for so long that we hadn't realized how bad he had gotten. Dad was 61 at the time, and his brother 63. Apparently docs strongly prefer donors under 60, but fortunately Dad is/was super healthy and they were as good of a match as you can hope for.

    I saw his brother at least 2x/week for the first month after surgery, and then not until August. He looked better and better every time I saw him, but in August he looked like an entirely different person. He had lost probably 15 lbs of fluid and general puffiness and had a sparkle in his eye that I hadn't seen in years. My mom had a nephrectomy about 10 years ago, so now my parents joke that they have a pair of kidneys between the two of them.

    I can't imagine having two members of my immediate family under at the same time; that will probably be the most stressful part of the whole thing since you'll be waffling back and forth who you're worrying about in that moment. Remember that these surgeons do nothing but transplants, and have probably done this hundreds, if not thousands of times.

    Your son is doing an incredible thing for his father.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb. 19, 2009
    Posts
    4,207

    Default

    What an awesome thing for your son to do for his father. You guys obviously raised a good one!

    Its kind of trippy but I just had a really long conversation with one of my coworkers today about his live donor kidney transplant that happened almost three years ago. According to him, his donor was very healthy and young, so he went through the surgery fairly easily (was out of the hospital after two days, back to work within 30). My coworker's recovery was fairly easy as well and I guess was lucky in that the donor kidney started working by itself right away (he said its fairly common for the recipients to have to do some dialysis afterwards to jump start the kidney) He said the biggest hurdle has been the meds and their cost. However, I guess there are some advances being done where the recipient also gets a bone marrow transplant at the same time, which can cut down the amount of anti rejection meds needed? He also said in his procedure, the doctor elected to not remove the non functioning kidneys, and instead left them and transplanted the kidney into the abdomen as reduces the risk of complications. Like others have said though, I'm sure that each hospital/surgeon has their own protocol so yours may take a different approach. It was an extremely interesting conversation as I don't know much about the whole transplant process.

    Definitely sending jingles and hopes for a speedy recovery your way!



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec. 21, 2008
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    Longing to be where I once was.....
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    2,157

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    My husband has 2 brothers. The older needed a kidney and the younger donated his. They were both fine during surgery. The brother that received the kidney was up and moving great right afterwards. The brother giving the kidney was in a lot of pain and moving very slowly. His healing was much longer. They are both doing great and it has been 19 years now :-). I am sure your guys will do great.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec. 9, 2010
    Location
    Greensboro, NC
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    My mom is 1 yr and 2 months post transplant. Her sister donated her kidney.

    The transplant was done at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota....I would highly recommend them for anyone with a major health issue. My aunt's surgery took a little more recovery (but was released from the hospital within 3 days) because they cut through the major muscles in the abdominal wall. For my mom, they just moved muscle over. My mom's recovery took about 1 week in hospital and when I saw her 2 weeks post op she looked fantastic! Still sore and very tired, although she was getting very sick before the surgery so I would assume some of the longer recover was due to that. The mayo clinic kept her in their transplant facility (dorm?) for a month with daily blood work before sending my mom home to NC.

    My mom was refusing dialysis and decided she would rather die so by the time she received the transplant she was not doing well. Today, she is super energetic and I am sooooo grateful that she has a second chance at life. She is ready to get another horse and looks and feels so much healthier.

    What a wonderful thing your son is doing!


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  12. #12
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    Dec. 31, 2000
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    El Paso, TX
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    Quote Originally Posted by candyappy View Post
    My husband has 2 brothers. The older needed a kidney and the younger donated his. They were both fine during surgery. The brother that received the kidney was up and moving great right afterwards. The brother giving the kidney was in a lot of pain and moving very slowly. His healing was much longer. They are both doing great and it has been 19 years now :-). I am sure your guys will do great.
    That's funny...that's what I've always heard, but since I don't have any experience with it, I didn't want to mention it. But it might be something for the OP to ask DR about. I've always heard the recipient seems to recover more easily...but I don't know if that's because they were feeling like crap before, so now with a working kidney, they feel better in spite of the pain of surgery or what. And maybe the previously healthy donor, is unaccustomed to feeling like crap, so the surgery and recovery seems worse to them.. It would be interesting to see what your DR says...



  13. #13
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    Oct. 6, 2008
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    285

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    Kidney transplant recipient here! I got my transplant 5 years ago, but from a deceased donor so I'm afraid I don't have much advice in regard to your son. From what I hear though, the surgery for donors is pretty simple and has a short recovery time. For my recovery after my transplant, it really wasn't as bad as I had anticipated. The pain medications took care of most of the pain for me. I was in the hospital four days after the transplant. The hardest part of recovery was staying off a horse for 4 months! If you have any questions at all about the transplant, let me know! I've been through it and am also studying in college to be a transplant educator, so I'm quite familiar with the subject. For me, after two years on dialysis, my transplant truly changed my life. What a great son you have.

    Edit: I just noticed you are from Missouri as well. Is your husband getting the transplant from Barnes-Jewish by chance?



  14. #14
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    Jul. 10, 2001
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    I donated a kidney to my sister in '94. We were a perfect match. As I understand it, the donor surgery has gotten much easier. My sister's doctor pointed out that a transplant is one of the few surgeries where the patient is immediately better after surgery.

    So, it's been 18 years and my sister has never had a rejection episode. Your husband and son will be fine. Good luck!
    *****
    You will not rise to the occasion, you will default to your level of training.


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  15. #15
    Join Date
    Nov. 1, 2005
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    500

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    Make sure your son knows to tell every one of his health care providers that he only has one kidney after the surgery. This is esp. important when having any type of x-ray dye injected. Before any CT, MRI is done make sure he tells the tech. The contrast is very hard on the kidneys and there is a risk for the one remaining kidney.



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Feb. 18, 2007
    Location
    Missouri
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    Oh my gosh! You guys have made me feel so much better! It's just so hard thinking of both of them being in surgery at the same time. I am trying to be positive and think everything will go just fine - otherwise I'll go nuts!
    The surgery is being done at the University of Missouri Hospital and Clinics in Columbia. Hubby's kidneys originally started to fail about 10 years ago, so he was put on the list. Then they stabilized and actually got a little tiny bit better. Just within the past few months he really started to feel bad, so we knew it was time. We feel very blessed we were given that 10 years. When my husband asked my son if he was interested in donating, the first words out of his mouth were "It's the least I can do for you Dad". What a rollercoaster, but I know the whole process has come a lot further in the last 10 years, plus them being such a good match will help. Again, thanks everyone for all the insights and wishes, and will let you know how it goes! Say a prayer on November 13th!
    Some days the best thing about my job is that the chair spins.



  17. #17
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    WB Mom, good luck! Your son is braver than I was. It took me a while to get there. I believe most living donations are now laproscopic. At the time, laproscopy was not an option and I have a long but not gross scar along the line of my ribs from waist to breastbone. You son's incision will likely be about 6 inche long. Hospital stay at the time I did mine was six days. I was pretty much back to normal in a few weeks, but was tired for several months after. Laproscopy has made this all much easier. Shoot me a pm and let me know how everyone made out!
    *****
    You will not rise to the occasion, you will default to your level of training.



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Aug. 15, 2008
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    Hey WB Mom?

    You raised a hell of a son. Just sayin.

    Sending my best wishes. I have no advice, but what a gift.
    "Aye God, Woodrow..."



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Mar. 22, 2004
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    Houston
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    Quote Originally Posted by jetsmom View Post
    I've always heard the recipient seems to recover more easily...but I don't know if that's because they were feeling like crap before, so now with a working kidney, they feel better in spite of the pain of surgery or what. And maybe the previously healthy donor, is unaccustomed to feeling like crap, so the surgery and recovery seems worse to them.. It would be interesting to see what your DR says...
    That's the assumption we were under going into it, but at least in the case of my dad and uncle, the opposite was true. I'd probably chalk it up to dad being so healthy and having a very easy surgery, and that my uncle had some minor complications with a clot due to the catheter.

    Quote Originally Posted by Midge View Post
    I believe most living donations are now laproscopic. At the time, laproscopy was not an option and I have a long but not gross scar along the line of my ribs from waist to breastbone. You son's incision will likely be about 6 inche long. Hospital stay at the time I did mine was six days. I was pretty much back to normal in a few weeks, but was tired for several months after. Laproscopy has made this all much easier.
    Laparoscopic is crazy - looking at dad now you can't tell he's had a nephrectomy unless you're looking for it. As the donor, they did a few small incisions around the belly button and pulled the whole kidney out through there. Insanity. I would say that Dad had bounced just about all the way back within 3 months.

    IIRC, they sliced open my uncle and just attached the new kidney, leaving the nonfunctioning ones in there - apparently it doesn't usually cause any problems. Overall, recovery will probably be harder on the patient who is actually cut all the way open, since it takes longer to heal from that than it does to heal from the actual organ attachment. When Mom had her nephrectomy, it was not done laparoscopically and her recovery was much more difficult than Dad's.

    ETA The ONLY thing that has changed for Dad is that he shouldn't take Advil anymore. Not sure the logic there, but Tylenol, etc, is fine.



  20. #20
    Join Date
    May. 14, 2004
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    79

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    Hoping for the best for your family. My bf is in kidney failure & we are waiting for an appointment with the transplant unit. He is on dialysis three time a week and they are talking about training for home dialysis. Fortuantly we are in Canada so we have health coverage.
    COTH ate my old ID. Not that anyone knew it anyways...

    Member of the Chicken Jumper Clique.


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