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Author Topic: Right and Left Kidney Donation  (Read 10719 times)

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Offline kmheiges

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Right and Left Kidney Donation
« on: August 19, 2012, 09:59:12 PM »
So I have been trying to find the differences in donating the right and left kidney. However, after google searching for a few hours I still have not found much. I know that many times they prefer to take the left kidney, but I also saw that someone wrote they prefer to take the right kidney if you haven't had children yet. Something about the right kidney is more stressed by pregnancy so it's better to leave the left kidney if the donor is young. I'm just wondering if you guys could clarify for me. I've found some discussion topics about it on here, but I still am not completely sure. Also, I know I have to wait for my CT because kidney function also determines it. Just wondering in general what the difference between donating the right or left kidney. Thanks for your help!

Offline sherri

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Re: Right and Left Kidney Donation
« Reply #1 on: August 19, 2012, 11:35:12 PM »
Generally the left kidney is taken I believe for a couple of reasons. There is generally a longer renal vein in most people on the left which is advantageous for the recipient when reattaching. The left I believe is easier to get to anatomically (liver is on the right) especially during laparascopic surgery. Individual anatomy, like multiple renal arteries or veins on the donor may cause the surgeon to decide to take the right over the left as well as function. If they determine that the kidneys do not function 50/50 the stronger of the two kidneys remains with the donor. I am not aware of one kidney being more stressed during pregnancy. There is an overall hyperdynamic state during pregnancy but not sure if the right kidney is more stressed than the left. Kidney donors have a slightly higher risk of developing high blood pressure or proteinuria, both are of concern during pregnancy, so you may want to discuss this with your family doctor or OB/GYN before considering donation. Younger donors also obviously have to live longer with their one kidney compensating so you may want to ask your doctor for some information about long term consequences for younger donors. The research on donors 10, 15 and 20 years out is not very well documented.

Lots of questions to ask during your evaluation. so keep a list. There is also a good list of questions on the information section of this site. Let us know what you find out.

Good luck.


Living Kidney Donor 11/12/07

Offline Fr Pat

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Re: Right and Left Kidney Donation
« Reply #2 on: August 20, 2012, 02:12:08 AM »
     Also the CT scan is to see if you HAVE two kidneys. A small percentage of the population is born with only one kidney and never notice unless a scan is done sometime. (And some folks are born with 3 or 4 kidneys.)
     Please kepp us informed.
   best wishes,
      Fr. Pat

Offline lawphi

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Re: Right and Left Kidney Donation
« Reply #3 on: August 20, 2012, 08:00:27 PM »
.  I also have a friend that donated her left. She had a very healthy pregnancy.

Bridge Paired Exchange donor on behalf of my husband (re-transplant) at Johns Hopkins.

Offline livingdonor101

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Re: Right and Left Kidney Donation
« Reply #4 on: August 24, 2012, 09:36:34 PM »
The vasculature (blood vessels, etc) of the left kidney are such that the adrenal gland is often rendered inert when the left kidney is removed. In short, the removal of the left kidney cuts off the blood supply to the left adrenal gland. This is not the case with the right kidney and adrenal.

There have been very few studies on pregnancy post-kidney donation. Ibrahim 2009 found that maternal and pregnancy outcomes for LKDs were similar to the general population, but were inferior to pre-donation outcomes for those women who bore kids both before and after kidney donation. This includes a lower likelihood of full-term deliveries and a higher risk of fetal loss, as well as a higher risk of gestational diabetes, gestational hypertension (high blood pressure), proteinuria (protein in the urine), and preeclampsia (Reister 2009 as well).

The best advice would be to discuss these possibilities with your obgyn before finalizing your decision.
www.livingdonor101.com - Where Living Donors Matter Most.

Offline onlyme2

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Re: Right and Left Kidney Donation
« Reply #5 on: August 25, 2012, 01:44:49 AM »
We only need one adrenal gland just like we only need one kidney, so the adrenal associated with the kidney is never really a problem. The left kidney is mainly used because of the longer vessels, makes surgery easier. I had right removed because it had lower function than the left. The liver is kept out of the way with an instrument. Some people though prefer removal of right kidney as with the left the spleen can get accidentally nicked, so there are pros and cons to both. Now for men, the right is better to remove as the left there are vessels attached to the genital area and often men can end up with swollen testicles which are quite painful for a few days, hence the request for them to wear tight underpants - just in case!! In the UK studies on live donors shows no ill effects to pregnancy afterwards but of course each person is different so individuals should discuss with their medical team.

Offline jstx

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Re: Right and Left Kidney Donation
« Reply #6 on: August 25, 2012, 10:48:09 PM »
I am young, single, & wanted to make sure kidney donation wouldn't have a negative affect on my health should I have a baby after donation. I had also heard that it was advantageous to donate the right kidney in instances like this. However, when I asked my transplant surgeon about it he said there is no known difference. As several people have mentioned on this forum, there aren't many (or any) studies on pregnancy post donation, and of course there are no givens. But I'm not sure that taking the right kidney has any advantage on future pregnancies. BTW, my transplant surgeon at Johns Hopkins was supposed to be working on a study on post donation pregnancy...not sure if it has come out yet, or if not, when it is to be released. Good luck with the rest of your evaluation process!
Donated left kidney on 6/6/11 to a recipient I found on LDO
Johns Hopkins Hospital
Baltimore, MD


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