5-19-12/Goods News, Bad news, and Bad news

Yesterday I had my percutaneous nephrostomy tube placed, with a drain, as well a stent put in my ureter.


The procedure was not terrible – it was kind of like a kidney biopsy – which was really not fun – except they really drugged me nicely for this procedure. So, moments of pain were followed with a state of almost bliss.


The other good news is post-procedure my creatnine has come down – already – to 1.8 and is likely still dropping. Additionally, they are confident that by intervening now, no damage was done to the kidney and long-term both I, and the new kidney, should be fine.


Okay, that was the good news. The bad news and bad news is as follows.


The new ureter – that came with my mother’s kidney – is either kinked, or damaged beyond repair. If it’s the first, which they think is the unlikely scenario, then in 3-4 weeks, when they drug me again, take out the drain, and take out the stent, everything should be fine. They will know almost immediately whether this worked.


The images that IR (interventional radiology – who performed the procedure) took didn’t seem to show evidence of a kink, but definitely showed narrowing of the ureter. My surgeon said that one picture might have showed a small kink, but he doesn’t think so – and it’s clearly not conclusive.


So, regardless, I have to go through another, similar procedure to yesterday in 3-4 weeks, to remove the stent and nephrostomy tube. I can live with that, although I’d hardly say I was looking forward to it.


The problem is if the ureter is damaged. This can happen during/post transplant and there is no way to predict it. A kink can be caused by the surgeon – although they take steps to avoid this – or by the stent being removed via cyscoscopy – those fun 40 seconds I had last week with a 3 foot tube and camera stuck up my penis. Anyway, the ureter can be reliant on a full blood supply from its host. When the kidney is removed and placed in my body it doesn’t get blood for a short period of time. It can become damaged then. It’s rare, but does happen. Additionally, my body may not provide enough blood to the ureter to make it happy or to repair any damage done during transplant. This is what they think happened.


If this is the case, the procedure in 3-4 weeks will not fix the problem and they will need to do MAJOR SURGERY AGAIN.


They will have to cut me open, again, and surgically attach one of my old ureters to the new kidney.


That means another surgery, another hospital stay, and another month or so of recovery. I am praying that’s not the case, but the doctors wanted me to know they are leaning towards that happening, and wanted me to be prepared and not shocked should that be the case.


I am still processing all this and will write more soon.


I do want to reiterate however, that the kidney should be fine and we intervened at the right time. This is by far the most important thing. What I am dealing with here is not life or death, but really just a major nuisance.


Either way, I am bummed.


One Response to “5-19-12/Goods News, Bad news, and Bad news”
  1. stephanie baas says:

    I bet you are bummed, David.

    The ups and downs – the bumps in the road – have to cause frustration for you, Maria, your Mom, Maria’s parents, and your whole family. And your friends and colleagues sit on the sidelines wondering what we can do to help. We are thinking of you – and standing by with whiskey and cigars for a whalloping good celebration once all these pit stops and bumps are past!!!

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