Friday, June 24, 2011

Things to Ponder

Punctured, Poked and Probed
A Bit of Blood

I have been doing a bit more research into the surgery itself.  Here are a few images I found online of the surgery I will have.  It is called a laparoscopic nephrectomy.  Pretty fancy, right?!  To help you all better understand the operation here is how the procedure goes:

Laparoscopic nephrectomy is performed under a general anesthetic. The typical length of the operation is 3-4 hours. The surgery is performed through 3 small (1cm) incisions made in the abdomen. A telescope and small instruments are inserted into the abdomen through these keyhole incisions, which allow the surgeon to completely free and dissect the kidney without having to place his hands into the abdomen.The kidney is then placed within a plastic sack and removed intact through an extension of one of the existing incision sites.

A Kidney!!

Operation Diagram

Crazy!!!!  This looks intense.  And from the sound of it recovery is intense too.  Everything I have read/heard says that recovery is worse for the donor than the recipient.  That seems weird to me.  The way it has been explained is that the recipient is already feeling so awful that when they receive this new, healthy kidney it actually makes their body feel better than before the operation.  How amazing would that be to wake up feeling improved right after the operation?  I can handle the pain.  Just knowing it is temporary... a week or two at most, gives me the confidence to grit my teeth and bear it.

Slides Sheet to Study

Anatomy Lesson

The hospital had sent me via mail a packet of information that included a stapled sheaf of paper that had slides printed on it, as well as a DVD presentation to watch on my computer.  I viewed it a few days ago and got answers to a lot of the questions that I had, primarily regarding post op recovery.  That is my biggest concern.  It will be very, very hard for me to be away from work/my daughter/my responsibilities for much more than two weeks, so I am hoping that I will be a "Super Woman" case that recovers really quickly.  Fingers are crossed, per usual!

Surgery Info

Now that all of my labs are done, tests are completed and the video has been watched I am in a holding pattern.  I have contacted my donor contact in Colorado several times to get a status update (and results of my tests) only to discover today that she has been out of the office all week and will not return until Monday.  So no big news until next week.  I am also still waiting to do my psych evaluation so there is that step still left.  More news when I have it.  Until then.... have a great weekend y'all!


  1. Next week you will get answers as to the status of the last testing, and then the psych eval... so not much time left til you get the verdict. Im sure you will pass all with flying colors. Thank you for all of your research and pics too. Keep us updated!! Roxanne

  2. I just came across your blog, and want to thank and congratulate you on your selfless decision to donate.

    I donated a kidney last May to a friend, and found it to be one of the most fulfilling things I've done in my life, aside from raising my son.

    I had a laparoscopic transplant, and honestly found it was no more painful to recover from than the C-section I had with my son. I wouldn't even use painful to describe it, but 'uncomfortable' for a few days. I felt very protective of my stomach for maybe 2 weeks. But the surgery healed quickly (use tea tree oil on the scar!) and now it's just a pinkish red line going thru my navel.

    Best of health to you and the lucky recipient! As one kidney transplant recipient told me: you're actually helping TWO people with your donation, as you've taken one person off the list whose 'cadaver kidney' can now go to someone else.

  3. Thanks for sharing!

  4. I wanted to say thank you. My son had his kidney transplant at the age of 18 months old from my aunt's best friend that had never even met him. She not only gave him her kidney - she gave us time to be with him at home instead of at hemo clinic, she gave us memories to make on family vacations to Disney World and she gave him a second chance to prove to the world what a special boy he is and show what all he can accomplish. So, from the perspective of the recipient's family - thank you...from the bottom of our broken kidneys. Peace and love to you!

  5. Laura,

    Here are some pictures from my donation surgery:


  6. Laura thanks for your blog... I too started one from my donor process.. Your last post is from June 2011... What's the progress now?
    Here is a link to my blog...

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