|My family: Alan far left-back--I'm three to the right of him.|
My brother Alan's kidneys were failing. His nephrologist said he had about five years before he would need a transplant and it was best to begin the search early. The chance of success increases with a live donor as opposed to a "deceased donor."
Kidneys are one of the few organs that can be safely transplanted from a living donor. It's the only one where the entire organ can be used (seeing as we have two). The others being parts of:
If the kidney comes from a sibling, the transplant has a greater success rate because of the genetic ties. The success rate is higher than an organ coming from a parent as the brother or sister genetic make-up from both parents whereas the parent only has her/his own genetic material.
For Alan, as all transplant candidates, performing the surgery as an elective is best. It ensures:
- both the candidate and the donor are in the best health.
- it avoids dialysis which hampers the success of a transplant because it taxes every organ of the body.
- a convenient time when surgeon and patients are not stressed.