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Author Topic: Would spinal injury stop me from being a living kidney donor?  (Read 2073 times)

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Offline MJS

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Would spinal injury stop me from being a living kidney donor?
« on: December 17, 2018, 01:58:45 PM »
I am a Canadian considering being a living kidney donor for a family member who lives in the US.  I don't want to just jump in and do this without knowing the risks.
A year and half ago I suffered a spinal injury when a herniated disc impinged on my spinal cord, leaving me with some nerve damage to my lower body, mostly on the left side. I have had some relatively minor bladder issues from the nerve damage. My urologist said the sphincter muscle doesn't always allow my bladder to empty completely, which can cause bladder infections. I'm taking Flomax to help relax the bladder muscles. I only mention this because bladder infections can lead to kidney infections and that would be a serious issue with only one remaining kidney.
Things are further complicated by the fact that I live in Canada and the family member lives in the US. I assume I would have to go down and be assessed by their HMO first. How objective will their HMO be about the risks to my health?
This is all very stressful. I want to help, but I don't want to just trade places and end up being the one with kidney failure.
Anyone familiar with this? Would appreciate some feedback and what initial steps to take.

Offline sherri

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Re: Would spinal injury stop me from being a living kidney donor?
« Reply #1 on: December 17, 2018, 06:43:28 PM »
It is great that you are thinking about your future health when considering donation.

you can discuss with your primary care physician and get his/her input. I know in Canada under a socialized medical system it may not be easy, but perhaps you can get in touch with a nephrologist to ask his/her opinion about donation given your medical history.

things to think about:
1. do you use NSAIDS (non steroidal anti inflammatories) in order to alleviate pain from your surgery of herniated disc. you will not be able to use them after donation or at least some opinions use them infrequently. this will be a factor
2. prior urological nerve damage. something to think about. perhaps ask your urologist about this. are you at increased risk with a lone kidney? are you at increased risk now or in the future for bladder infections. like you said, no need to have two people need a kidney.
3. in my experience reading so many stories from donors, it seems like transplant centers differ on their evaluation of kidney donors. There are no gold standards, each follows their own protocol, and as long as they follow the protocol they have established they are ok. so , will you get a truly unbiased evaluation? I have to say it depends. that is why I think it is good to get a second opinion for surgery, any surgery whether it is an elective procedure like this one or needed one.
4. this is the type of surgery that is planned so you should definitely take your time to think about it and educate yourself.

Keep us posted.

Best of luck to you and your intended recipient.

Sherri

Sherri
Living Kidney Donor 11/12/07

Offline Fr Pat

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Re: Would spinal injury stop me from being a living kidney donor?
« Reply #2 on: December 17, 2018, 06:52:23 PM »
Dear "MJS",
     You might like to also post at the FaceBook page of Living Donors on Line, as more donors check in there these days, including some from Canada.
      Fr. Pat

Offline MJS

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Re: Would spinal injury stop me from being a living kidney donor?
« Reply #3 on: December 17, 2018, 07:01:39 PM »
Thanks. Yes, speaking with my urologist and GP is something I will do before making a decision.

 

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