Adventures of a Kidney Donor

August 3, 2011

Pre-Op Visit

Filed under: Medical — by anne315 @ 6:23 pm
Tags: , ,

Today I had to be at University of Michigan in the wee hours of the morning for my pre-op appointment. Surgery is nine days away!

I had blood drawn for the final crossmatch. They have performed this test before but they need to be really sure. In the unlikely event that this match is positive the donation would be off. What a bummer that would be!  It sounds backwards but a positive cross match isn’t good.  Living Donors online has a good explanation:

Crossmatching is a further testing of antigen compatibility. In this test, white blood cells from you are mixed with blood from the recipient. If the white blood cells are attacked and die, then the crossmatch is “positive,” which is a negative as far as your ability to donate. It means the recipient is “sensitized” to you—the recipient has antibodies to some of your antigens—so the recipient’s immune system would turn on the donated organ and destroy it. If the crossmatch is “negative,” you are compatible with the recipient.

I met with my coordinator Chad to go over details for the day of surgery and things like Advanced Directives. (More on those in the next blog.) Then a Physician’s Assistant and an RN took a lengthy health history. I got detailed instructions on how to prepare for the surgery. This includes a clear liquid diet the day before and taking magnesium citrate to clear the bowel. This preparation information from Johns Hopkins is almost identical to what I received today.

The surgeon was going to see me but he was called away on something else. He did answer one of my questions via the nurses. He has an excellent reputation so I am pleased that he will be the one performing my nephrectomy.

Everyone was really nice and professional, which has been my experience with the University of Michigan hospital system. The PA and the nurse told me that I can still back out if I feel that I can’t go through with the surgery.  You can actually back out at any time, even after being admitted for surgery. I am ready to go forward!

Thanks to my friend Kris who I dragged along at that ungodly hour. I tried to buy her lunch at Zingermans’s (yum) but she fooled me and got the check away from me. BTW, Kris is a talented artist and her work is going to be exhibited in the hospital next year. Very cool!

Chad told me that the recipient is elated. They must be counting down the dialysis days. Yes, this is what it is all about!

Go to List of Resources on Kidney Donation

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