Doctors Give Progress Updates…on Twitter!

February 17, 2009

For those of you not familiar with the pervasive communication known as “texting”, which is no different than an email, except that it is usually highly abbreviated due to the fact that a phone touchpad is being used , rather than a QWETRY keyboard, there is an even newer form of this called “Twitter”.

Instead of writing a long paragraph, people write brief messages 140 characters or less,saying things like “Just 8 breakfast.” or “I won!” These “Tweets” allow the most self-absorbed person to give the blow-by-blow details of their day, or the busiest rock star to tell fans they have arrived in Los Angeles. This new form of communication was recently used during an experimental kidney cancer surgery. The doctor dramatically telling his subscribers how much time he had left to complete the removal of the tissue and what he was cutting and clamping.


Paired Kidney Matching by the Dozen

February 17, 2009

Remember when the news was all aflutter because 6 people had their surgeries simultaneously? Well John Hopkins has been the ringleader on a 12-way swap!

HLA Mismatch Problem May Be Conquered

February 5, 2009

HLA (Human Leucacyte Antibody) mismatches prevent donors from getting transplants. New developments may eliminate this problem.

Introducing the K-Section…

February 5, 2009

Keeping scarring to a minimum increases the number of live kidney donors. Why not deliver a kidney through an existing opening? No word on how they will do this on men 😉

Docs Figure Out What You’ve Known For Years!

February 5, 2009

High Blood pressure may contribute to kidney disease, but more significantly, kidney failure gives you high blood pressure! Wow, they just figured that out? Read the report.

Natalie Cole Tours With Kidney Failure/ May Transplant Soon

February 5, 2009

Natalie Cole says she may get a kidney from her son. Here’s the story from People Magazine.

The National Kidney Foundation Says No to Waiting List

February 2, 2009

The National Kidney Foundation has developed a plan to erradicate the need for a wait list for kidneys within 10 years.  There are now more than 100,000 people waiting for kidneys. See their plan.

But What About The Scars I Have Seen on TV?

February 2, 2009

Some of you who have just learned about kidney transplantation may have heard the horror stories of impoverished villiagers in India and other countries selling their kidneys, or having them otherwise stolen. News cameras have captured these people showing their long curved scars under their left rib.

This will soon be a thing of the past everywhere, as it currently is a major hospitals, thanks to advancements in Western medicine. Now kidneys can, and are being removed laproscopically. Meaning that three scars that run about two inches a piece remain on the belly, toward the side where the kidney is removed. They look more like duelling injuries than a traditional major operation scar. (Feel free to create your own fabulous story as to how you got your scar!)

The name of this surgery is laparoscopic nephrectomy, and also can be termed “robotic nephrectomy”.  If you don’t mind looking at surgical scars, click here and scroll down. This procedure really got going in 1995 and is the way the technology is moving because of the excellent outcomes, in terms of faster recoveries and less pain experienced. Another significant benefit is the enormous increase in the number of live kidney donors willing to donate because they will not have a major scar if this procedure is used.

You Are Not Alone

February 1, 2009

Kidney transplantation has been going on since the 50’s and the technology has gotten so much better even in just the recent past. My plans for this blog are to keep ordinary folks up-to-speed on what the medical field has done and is doing to make this disease ultimately as curable or as preventable as polio or cancer. Don’t forget, cancer used to be a death sentence. Now, people talk about long-term remission every day. And I’ll just bet you’d have a hard time finding a kid who has ever heard of polio.

Part of the problem with “selling” the need for a cure or getting people to feel urgent about kidney disease and organ donation is that people can function with bad kidneys for a long time and not look sick. Further, if the kidneys do fail, there is dialysis, which allows people to function when without it, they would not be with us.  All things being equal, I’m glad I’m not waiting for a heart or lungs. Can I get an amen?