kidney recipient

anonymous asked:

Do you know why in kidney transplants the recipient doesn't have the non functioning kidney removed but rather has the donor organ added in? I know unless it is diseased it's just kept in but not sure why?

Less risk, in short. There are inherent risks involved in removing an organ, whether or not it’s going to be replaced. In many cases, the existing kidneys may not function well, but do have a minimal amount of processing power, and still have a full blood supply. As an additional kidney can be added into the urinary system with less fuss than full replacement, and less overall risk, even if the recipients kidneys are completely non-functional. If the recipient kidneys are going haywire, however, and are sending out all sorts of bad signals or harboring cancers or incurable disease, they’re removed.

Adrenal failure can also occur when adrenal glands are removed from their kidney hosts (as happens when recipient kidneys are removed - often the adrenal glands are not affected by kidney disease), and adding lifelong adrenal supplements to an already-large number of immunosuppressant drugs needed after transplantation is not exactly ideal.

“Piggybacking” or heterotopic transplantation is also occasionally used in heart transplants, particularly when it’s a pediatric patient who is not receiving donor lungs at the same time. It’s also been used in liver transplants in very select cases. However, both of those surgeries are non-standard, and require very experienced surgeons at specialized transplant centers.

wingsofwriting  asked:

So this is a science adjacent questions that I don't know where to find the answer to and thought you might know. But can organ recipients (from organ donations) be organ donors? And if so, what happens to the organ they received from another person?

OOO! Fascinating question! Just did some research…it turns out that, yes, indeed, there has been one organ (at least) that was in three different people…he said, casually avoiding the obvious dirty joke. The original donor, a young man to whom the new organ didn’t take, and a third recipient. 

The kidney was only in the first recipient for a couple of weeks before it had to be removed, though. Often, when people get new organs it’s because there’s something wrong with their body that places stress on the organ (the most common example is diabetes, which is terrible on your kidneys.) So, usually, the organ will be degraded by the time the recipient is…done with it. But apparently there’s nothing medically preventing an organ from being…re-gifted.

Interestingly, however, as soon as the organ is placed in the new person’s body, it becomes their choice whether they want to donate the organ or not, they get the same rights over that organ that they have over all of their other organs so, if they die in a car accident and are not signed up as an organ donor, they get buried with it.

In the case I cited above, the young man couldn’t keep the organ, but he still got to choose whether it was thrown out or placed in another person who needed it. Of course he chose to donate the organ, but it’s just kinda cool to me that it was /his/ choice, not just a default “This didn’t work for you so we’re taking it back.” It became his property the moment the put it in his body cavity.