Q. My mother was advised to remove left kidney. Can she live with a single kidney?

Answered by Dr. Shahil Khant and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.

 

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Image: My mother was advised to remove left kidney.  Can she live with a single kidney?

Hi doctor,

My mother is not getting recovery from her illness and now she is hospitalized in an International Hospital. In the meantime, she suffered from malena for three to four days. However, endoscopy and colonoscopy report was normal and now malena problem was solved. As her left kidney function was completely decreasing and also having several small stone in the left kidney with a large sized stone in the urinary tract of left kidney, our local advised us to remove the left kidney. We are confused what to do for her better recovery. I request you to have a look on her report and advise us. Her report includes creatinine level, USG of the whole abdomen, CT scan of KUB region and renal function test. Her problem is frequent urination, UTI, vomiting, back pain, thyroid and sugar problem.


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Dr. Shahil Khant
MBBS., M.S SURGERY., DNB UROLOGY
Andrology, General Surgery, Urology

Hi,

Welcome to icliniq.com.

I have gone through all reports (attachment removed to protect patient identity) sent by you.

  • According to me, the first option is to remove left kidney. Keeping it in body is not going to do anything good as already it is non-functional and in fact, it is causing urine infections.
  • Practically, at present she is only on the right kidney. If you do not want first option, then the second option (not advisable) is to clear stones endoscopically. But, left kidney function will not improve and it will still be a source of infection.

For further information consult a urologist online --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/urologist

 

Hi doctor,

Our local doctor prescribed us the following medicines for one month and said that no need to remove the left kidney as there is a small possibility of recovery. What to do now? We are very much worried. After removal whether it will have any effect or infection in the right kidney. Moreover, she has diabetes. Frankly speaking, how she will last with a single kidney? She is on Nafodil 50 mg one tablet daily after breakfast, Lasilactone 50 mg one tablet daily at the end of the last seven days of the month, Mucaine gel syrup thrice daily and Esoper RD 1 capsule daily at 5 AM. One doctor suggested to remove the kidney while another doctor suggested to take medication for a month and another said that it is not a kind of spreading infection. A well-known a doctor through email suggested if fever, then left percutaneous nephrostomy and antibiotics and if there is no fever, then ureteroscopy with lithotripsy and DJ stenting. We are totally confused. Please help us through proper guidance and advice.

 

Dr. Shahil Khant
MBBS., M.S SURGERY., DNB UROLOGY
Andrology, General Surgery, Urology

Hi,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

  • Your local doctor told you not to remove the kidney and chances are there it might recover. Is your local doctor a qualified urologist or nephrologist?
  • Regarding recovery, chances are very, very less (less than 1 percent), because that kidney is already damaged. In that case if you have not remove kidney now and if the function does not recover, then again, you will require a second operation to remove kidney later.
  • After removing left kidney there is no impact on the right kidney. Practically speaking, left kidney is not working and it is only present in the body so your mother now is now with right kidney only.
  • People do survive with single kidney lifetime and the same happens in case of renal transplant where a donor donates kidney and will be on single kidney without any problem.
  • In literature, it clearly mentioned that if function is less than 10 percent, then there is no chance for recovery of that kidney.
  • I am trying to explain that removing this kidney does not mean that you are removing functioning kidney (it is already on-functioning in the body).
  • All doctors opinion does vary. I personally feel it should be removed if she is physically fit to undergo surgery. If she does not fit, then ureteroscopy and DJ stenting.

For further information consult a urologist online --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/urologist

 

Thank you very much doctor,

Now, after having your opinion, I am relaxed. She is physically fit and her age is 55 . Now, a little bit weaker due to fever, UTI and so on. For removal, we are a little bit concerned about having diabetes. If left kidney is removed, then I think the ureter stone will also be removed automatically or problem will be solved simultaneously. Am I right?

 

Dr. Shahil Khant
MBBS., M.S SURGERY., DNB UROLOGY
Andrology, General Surgery, Urology

Hi,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

  • Yes, if they remove the left kidney, then they will remove the ureter also. So, do not worry.
  • If she is physically fit, then remove the kidney. Later, she needs to maintain proper diabetic control.

For further doubts consult a urologist online --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/urologist

 

Thank you doctor,

Can we wait for one month for removal of the kidney as we need to prepare ourself financially? Should it be necessary to remove so quickly? In that case, for waiting will you suggest any medications?

 

Dr. Shahil Khant
MBBS., M.S SURGERY., DNB UROLOGY
Andrology, General Surgery, Urology

Hi,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

  • Yes, you can definitely wait for a month and it is not an emergency.
  • It is better to continue with medicines as prescribed above by your doctor. There is no need to change any medicines.

For further information consult a urologist online --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/urologist

 

Hi doctor,

Do you mean to say the medicines prescribed by our local doctor? And one more question, is there any possibility of removing the ureter stone, which is large in size through medicine and also the kidney stones?

 

Dr. Shahil Khant
MBBS., M.S SURGERY., DNB UROLOGY
Andrology, General Surgery, Urology

Hi,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

  • Yes, continue the medicine given by your doctor.
  • The size of ureter stone is large, so it will not pass on its own. But, you can try tablet Veltam 0.4 mg (Tamsulosin) at bedtime for 15 days and wait for a month to see if the stone passes or not. Consult your doctor, discuss with him or her and take the medicine with consent.

For further information consult a urologist online --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/urologist

 
 
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