Health Matters: Kidney Transplants

WBBH | NBC 2 | Heath Matters
Photo: MGN

It’s a waiting list 100,000 names long. Doctors say patients are desperate for a kidney transplant.

Dr. Lynsey Biondi, a kidney transplant surgeon with Lee Health, says it can be years before a patient ever makes it to surgery. “It’s a long process. They have to come and get a lot of tests done to make sure they are safe, make sure they’re going to get through the surgery, and then do well afterwards too.”

If a patient receives a kidney transplant, it’s not really out with the old and in with the new. “We leave the old kidneys in in almost all patients unless there’s a problem. So there’s a third kidney,” said Dr. Biondi.

To take the bad kidney out, doctors say it’s a big surgery that’s usually unnecessary. “Your normal kidneys live way up in your back, up by your rib cage, so to take those out, you’re operating on big blood vessels, you’re making a big incision. So if there’s no cancer or no problem with them it actually makes you sicker to take them out,” said Dr. Biondi. Continue reading

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