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Medicine Science Technology

Doctors Transplant Same Kidney Twice In Two Weeks 130

Posted by samzenpus
from the reduce-reuse-recycle dept.
kkleiner writes "Twenty-seven-year-old Ray Fearing suffered from focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS), a common type of kidney disease, and needed a new kidney. His 24-year-old sister, Cera Fearing, wanted to give him hers. The transplanted kidney immediately began to grow diseased, so doctors removed it. But then something happened that, according to the doctor who performed the procedure, had never been done before. The unhealthy kidney was removed from Ray, and replanted into another patient, and the kidney became healthy and has remained in this second patient ever since."
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Doctors Transplant Same Kidney Twice In Two Weeks

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  • by countach (534280) on Sunday April 29, 2012 @05:51PM (#39839749)

    Why didn't the girl get the kidney back? I can understand her willing to give it up for her brother, but not for some random person.

  • Re:Get me a hammer! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by sco08y (615665) on Sunday April 29, 2012 @09:42PM (#39841083)

    Selling/buying them is illegal so there are very few buyers. Make it legal, and the demand and number of places you could offload goes through the roof.

    Um, how? Is there anything that could possibly be easier to trace than human organs? I mean, they're already stamped, in every single cell, with DNA. How in God's name could you fence stolen organs?

    And if there are doctors willing to do it without running the checks, what's stopping them from doing it now?

  • by EdwinFreed (1084059) on Monday April 30, 2012 @01:07AM (#39842143)
    Substantial risk understates the situation if anything. The fact is removing a kidney is a pretty big deal whereas putting one into someone is a lot simpler. This is because they put transplanted kidneys into the lower abdomen inside the muscle layer but outside the peritoneal wall. (The old failed or failing kidneys are only removed if absolutely necessary.) Removing a kidney, OTOH, means going through the abdomen to the other side. Even though it's done laparoscopically, it's still fairly traumatic, to the point where altruistic donors (that's what they are called) have a significantly worse time of it than the recipient in the first couple of weeks post-transplant. Because of this, there is no way in hell any remotely competent surgeon would agree to put back a kidney they are sure she doesn't need so soon after the original procedure. (Donors undergo extensive testing before such procedures. And it's actually surgeons plural, since reattaching blood vessels and hooking up ureters are actually different specialties.)

    For that matter, they would not have removed the transplanted kidney from the original recipient were it not for the small matter that according to the article, it was killing him. (When a transplanted kidney fails and another transplant is done they don't remove it unless absolutely necessary, with the result that someone can end up with four or more kidneys.) So they were going to end up with a kidney and no place to put it. Rather than toss it in the garbage, my guess is they started calling people at the top of the list who were type compatible until they found one willing to give it a go.

    I'll also point out that one of the side benefits of being a donor is that in the unlikely event that your remaining kidney fails, you automatically go to the top of the transplant list. And in most cases 100% of the donor's costs are paid for.

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