Decreasing The Risk Of Tobacco
- In minutes: Your heart rate drops.
- In 24 hours: Nicotine has left your bloodstream.
- In days: Your bloods carbon monoxide level is the same as that of nonsmokers.
- In 1 year or less: Coughing and shortness of breath are reduced.
- In 1 to 2 years: Heart attack risk is lowered dramatically.
- In 3 to 6 years: Added risk of coronary heart disease is reduced by half.
- In 5 to 15 years: 50% reduction in risk for kidney and other cancers
- In 15 to 20 years: Reduced risk of coronary heart disease and cancers similar to nonsmokers.
Returning To Normal Life
When your kidney is removed, the other kidney will take over its function. This means that you will not notice any physical effects after a kidney donation. After the donation, you can return to your normal life. You will not need to follow any special diet and you will not be dependent on medication. It is a good idea to eat healthily, get enough exercise and not to smoke. This advice is not specifically related to the living donation and is more of a general rule. You will need to come to the hospital for a check-up once a year. Here we will look at your renal function, blood pressure and urine.
Living donation does not have any negative effect on your life expectancy. The life expectancy for someone with one kidney is the same as for people with two kidneys. Some studies do suggest that living donors have a higher chance of developing high blood pressure though. Discuss these risks with your doctor when you are considering living kidney donation.
Cigarette Smoking In Living Kidney Donors And Graft Survival
S. Waits, K. Sheetz, M. Terjimanian, K. Barnhart, M. Englesbe
General Surgery, Division of Transplant Surgery, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
Abstract number: 71
Background: The deleterious effects of cigarette smoking contribute to a number of significant health-related problems but the effect of donor smoking history on kidney graft outcomes is less clear.
Methods: We performed a retrospective single-institution review of 635 living kidney transplantations in an attempt to ascertain the effect of donor cigarette smoking and graft survival. Kaplan-Meier survival analysis and Cox-modeling were utilized. Donor and recipient characteristics were controlled in the final analyses.
Results: Twenty-six percent of donors smoked within 1 year prior to their donor nephrectomy. Donor smoking was significantly associated with reduced death-censored graft survival. Donors who smoked had graft survivals of 93%, 75% and 52% at 1, 5, and 10 years respectively and 96%, 85%, and 63% for donors who did not smoke . In Cox proportional hazard model, when compared to non-smokers, grafts harvested from donors who have smoked within one year of donor nephrectomy resulted in hazard-ratio for graft loss of 1.74 .
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Alcohol Drugs And Medications
Regularly drinking alcohol above the maximum recommended limits can raise your blood pressure, which can be dangerous for people with a kidney transplant. To keep your risk of alcohol-related harm low, the NHS recommends:
- not regularly drinking more than 14 units of alcohol a week
- spread your drinking over 3 days or more if you drink as much as 14 units a week
- it’s a good idea to have several alcohol-free days each week
Alcohol is also high in calories, so you’ll gain weight if you drink regularly. Being overweight will also increase your blood pressure. Read more about the calories in alcohol.
You should also avoid taking any illegal drugs after a kidney transplant, as they can damage your kidneys, cause a sudden rise in blood pressure and react unpredictably with your immunosuppressant medications.
Finally, always check with your care team before taking any medication, including over-the-counter medication and herbal remedies such as St John’s wort. Some medications could be potentially harmful if you have had a kidney transplant and are taking immunosuppressant medication.
Most Us Adults Cannot Donate A Kidney Due To Preventable Health Problems Potential Loss Of Income
- American Society of Nephrology
- The majority of individuals in the United States are not eligible to donate a kidney, even if they wanted to, a study shows.
The majority of individuals in the United States are not eligible to donate a kidney, even if they wanted to, according to a study that will be presented at ASN Kidney Week 2014 November 11-16 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia, PA.
There is a shortage of living kidney donors in the United States, but no one has previously examined the general population to see who would be eligible to be donors. To assess the potential US donor pool, researchers led by Anthony Bleyer, MD looked at a representative sample of the population and determined the proportion of people who could not be donors because of underlying health conditions. They also determined the number of individuals who fell below the poverty line and therefore might not be able to donate because of financial difficulties related to being away from work during recovery.
The investigators found that 55% of the population would not meet criteria to donate, mostly because of preventable health conditions . Sixty percent of individuals with an adjusted income of $35,000 per year could not donate due to medical conditions vs. 49% of individuals making > $100,000 per year. If one includes non-US citizenship as criteria for not being able to donate, 68.5% of the US population would not be able to donate.
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What Will Be Expected Of The Donor
The donor will be assigned a nurse coordinator who will be responsible for educating them through the donation process. The coordinator will work only with the donor and cannot disclose any health information to their family or the recipient. It is very important for donors to keep the recipient informed of the process as it moves along.
Keep Up Your Healthy Lifestyle
âI was always health conscious. But before surgery, I started exercising more and getting serious about keeping my stress levels in check,â says Roberta Mittman, who donated a kidney to her sister in 2004.
Those healthy lifestyle habits stuck, says the New York City resident, whoâs now in her 60s. âTwelve years later, Iâm still going strong, as is my sister.â
As Mittman suggests, you should try to maintain a healthy lifestyle:
Drink alcohol in moderation . More than two to three drinks a day can damage your kidney and increase your risk of problems like high blood pressure.
Stop smoking . It damages all of your organs, including your kidneys.
Mind your meds. Talk to your doctor about all the medications you take, including over-the-counter pills and supplements. Some common medicines, like nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs , may be hard on your kidney if you take them regularly or in high doses.
Eat well. You donât need to follow a special diet, even right after surgery. But nutrient-rich foods will help you keep your weight in check and lower your risk of high blood pressure and diabetes. That, in turn, will keep your kidney healthy. Some doctors think kidney donors should avoid eating too much protein, especially from protein powder or supplements. Thatâs because excess protein may make your kidney work harder.
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What Are The Benefits Of Kidney Donation For Donors
Though taking out an organ hardly seems like it would improve a persons quality of life, thats exactly what happens for so many donors.
First, they get to share a special bond with someone forever that can never be matched. Second, they are thoroughly educated on health and wellness before and after donation often learning things they never knew. People often give up unhealthy habits in order to donate, such as smoking, excessive drinking, or eating an unhealthy diet. Ive had donors lose as much as 30 pounds in order to donate. Later, they told me they never thought they could lose that much weight and that they were motivated to keep it up.
Third, they get the chance to advocate for others. In 2017, we had our first altruistic kidney donor at UT Southwestern she didnt have a specific donor in mind and wanted to give of herself to help someone else. This person contacted us because she said shed done her research and was impressed by the expertise of our doctors and the level of care we provide potential donors. Though she didnt have a loved one or friend in need of a kidney, she very much wanted to donate one to help a stranger in need.
We put her through the regular application process, and she passed with flying colors. To date, shes eight months post-op and back at her normal routine while serving as a wonderful advocate for living kidney donation.
Interested in becoming a kidney donor? Request an appointment with our transplant team for more information.
Am I Eligible To Become A Kidney Donor
You need to undergo a comprehensive evaluation if you decide to donate one of your kidneys to a family member such as your spouse, children, siblings, and parents or to a friend or altruistically to a stranger. You are NOT eligible to become a kidney donor if the doctors assessment suggests that kidney donation is not safe for you.
What If I Was Asked To Donate But I Really Dont Want To
This situation really gets me riled up on behalf of the donor. No one should ever coerce or intimidate someone into donating a kidney, regardless of health or family situation. Thats a decision only a potential donor should make.
If someone is pressuring a donor, whether its a friend, family member, or even a doctor, I want to know that. We absolutely will not let anyone donate who is not 100 percent comfortable with the decision and who we arent 100 percent sure isnt being pressured to donate
To combat this ugly situation, all potential donors meet with a social worker as well as our living donor advocate, who is a psychologist that operates independently of the UT Southwestern transplant program. The advocate is another set of eyes and ears to help us ensure donors understand the short- and long-term risks and benefits. And if donors say yes to donating but change their minds, even on the day of surgery, thats OK.
What If The Donor Is Not A Match
When compatibility testing shows that the donor is not a match to the recipient there are other options to consider so that the recipient might not have to wait for a deceased donor organ to become available.
- In some cases, the donor may still be able to donate directly to the recipient as part of our Blood Type Incompatible Transplant Program. More testing must be done to decide if this is an option.
- If the donor cannot donate to the intended recipient, the donor-recipient pair might be able to participate in our Kidney Exchange Program. In this program, incompatible donor-recipient pairs exchange kidneys so that each recipient receives a compatible organ.
For more information visit our website
For additional living donor information refer to:
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Frequently Asked Questions About Kidney Donation
Tens of thousands of people in the United States are waiting for new kidneys a much greater need than kidneys from deceased donors alone can meet. Living kidney donation helps make more kidneys available to more people in need.
Kidneys filter waste and excess fluids from the blood, eliminating them from the body in urine. Chronic kidney disease or failure is the gradual loss of kidney function, causing a dangerous amount of waste build-up in the body. Those who have kidney disease are often placed on the kidney transplant waiting list to become organ recipients.
A new kidney can extend a recipients life by at least 15 years. More than 101,000 Americans are currently on the transplant list, but only 17,000 receive a kidney annually. Sadly, 12 people die each day while waiting for a kidney. By donating a kidney, you can save a life. Read on and learn more in our FAQ about kidney donations.
Will I Be Able To Obtain Insurance Coverage After Donation
Your health insurance should not be affected by donation. The Affordable Care Act has made it illegal for health insurance companies to refuse to cover you or charge you more because you have a pre-existing condition.
However, some living donors have reported either having difficulty getting life insurance or facing higher premiums for life insurance. In such cases, it may be necessary for transplant centers to inform the insurance carrier of existing data that report that the patient is not at increased risk of death because of donation.
If you already have insurance, check your insurance contracts carefully to see if living donation would affect your current policies. You might also want to consult with a lawyer who is knowledgeable about insurance law.
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Living Donor Smoking Worsens Recipient Survival
MIAMI BEACH, Fla.Recipients of kidneys from living donors who smoke have shorter survival than recipients of kidneys from non-smoker living donors, according to a study presented at the American Society of Transplant Surgeons 2013 Annual State of the Art Winter Symposium.
The discovery of this association suggests that it may be possible to improve survival among kidney transplant recipients by getting living donors who smoke to give up the habit, said Seth Waits, MD, of the University of Michigan Health Systems in Ann Arbor, who presented the results. When we are talking about deceased donors, obviously, there was no opportunity to have them stop smoking prior to donation.
Dr. Waits, together with the rest of the research team led Michael Englesbe, MD, Associate Professor of Surgery at UMHS, reviewed information from 635 consecutive living kidney donors between 2000 and 2008. Smokers were defined as individuals who actively smoked within a year before their nephrectomy.
The smokers were significantly more likely to be female than male and were younger than non-smokers . They also had lower blood urea nitrogren levels .Three-quarters of the recipients received kidneys from nonsmoking donors they had a similar average age, body mass index and race to those who received kidneys from smokers. Few post-operative complications occurred, and they were minor.
What Is The Recovery Period And When Can The Donor Return To Normal Activities
The length of stay in the hospital will vary depending on the individual donor’s rate of recovery and the type of procedure performed although the usual stay is 4 to 6 days. Since the rate of recovery varies greatly among individuals, be sure to ask the transplant center for their estimate of your particular recovery time.
After leaving the hospital, the donor will typically feel tenderness, itching and some pain as the incision continues to heal. Generally, heavy lifting is not recommended for about six weeks following surgery. It is also recommended that donors avoid contact sports where the remaining kidney could be injured. It is important for the donor to speak with the transplant staff about the best ways to return as quickly as possible to being physically fit.
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How Long Does The Process Take
The donation process depends on how many tests are required of the donor and how quickly he or she is able to complete them. The average donor work up may take six months or more for completion and may depend on test results, which may indicate additional evaluation is required. A transplant date cannot be set until the donor has completed the entire work up and has been evaluated by the surgeon. The transplant center does its best to accommodate the needs of the donor and recipient, but appointment times may be limited.
When Can You Return To Normal Activities
Most people can return to regular life within a few months. You may be able to return to work between two to eight weeks after your surgery, depending on your job.
Your doctor may restrict you to lifting no more than 10 pounds in the first eight weeks after surgery, and no more than 20 pounds until week 12.
For more strenuous activities like competitive sports and core abdominal exercises, you may have to wait until six months after your surgery.
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Remember That Its Normal To Feel Blue
âDonating a kidney is an incredible gift,â Taber says. Knowing that youâre helping another person stay alive can make you feel great, even long after the surgery is done.
Even so, itâs normal to feel blue, especially in the weeks after donation. âPeople in the medical community put you on a pedestal. But after surgery, youâre back home, and it can feel like youâre on your own. That can be tough,â says Lee Adams. She lives in the Baltimore area and donated a kidney to her brother-in-law in 2007.
Fortunately, that âwhat now?â feeling is usually short lived. Even so, donât wait to seek help if youâre sad — or even if you just have questions or concerns.
âDonation is major surgery,â says Adams, who now frequently speaks with people who plan to donate. âSince you werenât the one with kidney disease, you might feel guilty expressing doubt. But you should always feel good about speaking up. I still call my donor coordinator when I need to, and she happily answers every time.â
Work With Your Medical Team
Your surgeon or donor coordinator will schedule a follow-up for you. It usually takes place a few weeks after surgery. âThat appointment is really important, so donât delay or skip it,â says Tim E. Taber, MD, the medical director for kidney transplantation at Indiana University Health.
You should also see your doctor at least once a year. âHeâll check your urine and blood to see how your kidney is doing,â Taber says. âHeâll also screen for problems like high blood pressure and diabetes, which can contribute to kidney disease.â
If you notice blood in your urine or unusual swelling , see your doctor right away. Those may be signs your kidney isnât working right.
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