Reduced lifespan for kidney donor?

  1. My mother donated a kidney to me in 1989. It lasted 3 years, and now I'm back on hemo. My mother just saw a new doctor, and supposedly he told her that since she had donated a kidney, her lifespan was reduced by 3 months. I have never heard of this before! Is this true, or is my mother just trying to make me feel guilty about the kidney donation? I've searched transplant websites and found nothing about reduced lifespans for donors.
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  2. 12 Comments

  3. by   Headhurt
    My best friend had a kidney transplant 7 years ago, and her younger sister donated. Neither of which have been told that the sister's life was shortened because she was a donor.

    Three months sounds like an odd number. It's like saying that my lifespan increased by two weeks because I drink chocolate milk. The only time having one kidney becomes a remote issue is when a pregnancy is involved, and it puts more strain on the kidney.

    Unless your mother plans on pursuing base-jumping as something to pass the time, or becoming surrogate mother for your state, I don't think she needs to worry about those 3 months.

    Sheesh! If organ donation was such a horrible thing, I'm sure there would be a lot of media attention about it.

    Just my "O".
  4. by   sjoe
    It only stands to reason that a person with only one kidney would have a shorter life span than a person with two, if for no other reason than the statistical possibility of a future kidney problem. The person with two has more choices than the person with one.

    MANY things are much more dangerous than having only one kidney, of course, including driving a car, so there is little reason for concern about it. (For an assortment of other things to worry about, watch the news ANY night.)

    (Re chocolate milk: according to some nutritionists, chocolate prevents absorbtion of calcium, so drinking chocolate milk can be expected to make osteoporosis more likely. Life is full of choices.)
    Last edit by sjoe on Mar 20, '04
  5. by   Headhurt
    Quote from sjoe
    (Re chocolate milk: according to some nutritionists, chocolate prevents absorbtion of calcium, so drinking chocolate milk can be expected to make osteoporosis more likely. Life is full of choices.)
    I'm not giving up my chocolate moo.

    In this day and age, everything shortens your lifespan. Just get out there and enjoy life each day.
  6. by   Dialyzin' Dar
    I'm just looking for info that can either support or disprove the 3-month thing... our transplant surgeon certainly never mentioned it, because that probably would have been enough to stop my mother from being a kidney donor.
  7. by   Havin' A Party!
    Quote from sjoe
    It only stands to reason that a person with only one kidney would have a shorter life span than a person with two, if for no other reason than the statistical possibility of a future kidney problem...
    Agree.

    But not sure about the 3-month quantification.
  8. by   Dialyzin' Dar
    It reminds me of the claims made by smoking-cessation programs that each cigarette smoked takes 9 minutes off of your life-- how in the heck can they know that?

    Personally, I think this whole transplant fiasco took three months off of MY life!
  9. by   Gldngrl
    I was just looking at George Washington Center's renal transplant program on the internet and they addressed that question. The only concern that has run thru my mind is kids donating to their parents when there is strong familial history of renal and cardiac disease, high PRA (panel reactive antibody) levels, etc...will the grandkids donate to their parents when their one kidney gives out too?
    Last edit by Gldngrl on Mar 21, '04
  10. by   Gldngrl
  11. by   sharann
    What's with the physician for telling your mom such a thing anyhow? I mean unless he gives her a date like "you will pass away on June X, 200?, then why tell her such an insignificant thing. If a person has less than a year to live, then yes 3 months would be significant. I don't know of many moms who would hesitate to give an organ, any organ to their child, myself included. Playing guilt cards are not part of the game.
    I'm so sorry that you had such a short time off of HD. How are you getting along? Are you able to work etc? Take care.
  12. by   Dialyzin' Dar
    Hi Shar,

    Dialysis is going ok-- actually, I feel 'healthier' on dialysis than I did with the transplant. (Prednisone made me psychotic.) I don't work anymore because I was a factory employee before I got sick, and was never able to go back after the transplant failed. But I do keep busy with writing, knitting and talking to the other patients at my dialysis unit, plus write for the unit patient's newsletter and go to the support group meetings. For me, dialysis is a pretty big time-wasting inconvenience, but certainly not the end of my life. The nurses and techs at my unit are fantastic and make going to treatments bearable-- it's more like a social event. I thank God I'm in a good unit-- the horror stories I've read from patients in other places make me very grateful for being where I am, with the staff we have.
  13. by   leslie :-D
    Quote from sharann
    What's with the physician for telling your mom such a thing anyhow? I mean unless he gives her a date like "you will pass away on June X, 200?, then why tell her such an insignificant thing. If a person has less than a year to live, then yes 3 months would be significant. I don't know of many moms who would hesitate to give an organ, any organ to their child, myself included. Playing guilt cards are not part of the game.
    I'm so sorry that you had such a short time off of HD. How are you getting along? Are you able to work etc? Take care.
    my sentiments exactly. and don't worry about your mom. take care of YOURSELF.
  14. by   traumaRUs
    I work with a nurse who had a kidney transplant from her (now ex) husband three years ago. She jokes that it is the "only good thing he ever gave me". She is doing well and works in our ER.

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