I saw CT scan images of my kidneys today during a visit with my potential nephrectomy surgeon. I was pleasantly surprised when he told me he could laproscopically remove one or both of my kidneys despite their extreme mass. They apparently have some quite-advanced tools for clamping arteries and other intricate tasks involved in the surgery such that they can get the kidneys out through a tiny hole, so no football-sized incision is necessary.
It was nice to have the surgeon validate what I’ve been dealing with–that I’ve had these massive and ever-growing kidneys causing life-altering pain for two decades. A healthy kidney is the size of a fist. Mine start at my ribcage and extend down to my pelvic bone, from my spine to my abdomen.
I was looking at cross-sections of my body in these CT scan images. Here are Microsoft Paint images, if they were done by 5-year-olds…or by me five minutes ago. The white block represents my spine. I don’t think anyone needs to see my lungs or bowels to get my point.
My polycystic kidneys:
The surgeon says I will immediately be twenty pounds lighter when these are removed. I can’t even image what that would feel like. I know it is unfair to compare this to something I will never experience, but I imagine that carrying twins is a little like that (without my breasts and other body parts blowing up along with my abdomen).
I would like to opt for my heavier, more painful kidney to removed rather than both because my kidneys still have some fluid-eliminating capacity. I would love to have this done as soon as possible.
However, I don’t even know how the new employer feels about me working around my dialysis schedule. It would be pushing matters to see if I could work around a one-month downtime to have this surgery. I’ll hope to have this done sometime in the next year or so. Realistically, a new kidney won’t come along for another 2-3 years or so.
On a related note, a hearty congratulations to my friend, expectant father, and former-PKD and former-dialysis patient Rob, who received a kidney transplant early Sunday morning and is doing well!