"I'll give you one of mine," Ann Lopez said to her husband the
moment the couple learned he would need a kidney transplant. He thought she was
joking. But George Lopez, star of ABC's The George Lopez Show, is the
comic, not his wife.
And so, just before sunrise on a Tuesday in April of 2005, the Lopezes
arrived at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, where they were prepped
for surgery in neighboring rooms. Right before Ann was wheeled to the operating
room --- her surgery began first...
There are some drawbacks. You may have to wait for a kidney to be donated. If so, you will need to have dialysis while you wait. Also, it may be hard to find a good match for your blood and tissue types. Sometimes, even when the match is good, the body rejects the new kidney.
It is very important to take your medicines exactly as prescribed. This will help keep your body from rejecting your new kidney.
You will need to take medicines for the rest of your life.
Because these medicines weaken the function of your immune system, you will have an increased risk for serious infections or cancer.
Even if you take your medicines, there is a chance that your body will reject your new kidney. If this happens, you will have to resume dialysis or have another kidney transplant.
The success of the transplant also depends on what kind of donor kidney you are receiving. The closer the donor kidney matches your genetic makeup, the better the chances that your body will not reject it.
For more general information about transplant, see the topic Organ Transplant.
What to think about
A kidney transplant doesn't guarantee that you will live longer than you would have without a new kidney.