7.4 kg kidney, equivalent to weight of 2 newborns, removed from man in Delhi hospital
Doctors at a Delhi hospital have removed a kidney weighing 7.4 kgs, or the weight of two newborn babies, which had completely filled up the abdominal cavity of a 56-year-old man suffering from a genetic disease.
Normal kidneys weigh anything between 120 and 150 grams. The doctors claim this is the largest kidney removed in India and the third largest in the world.
“We went through medical literature and found two reports of heavier kidneys that have been removed -- one weighing 9 kg in the US and the other weighing 8.7 kg in the Netherlands. To our knowledge, this is the third heaviest kidney ever to be removed,” said Dr Sachin Kathuria, consultant of urology at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital and lead surgeon in the case.
The retired government employee was diagnosed in 2006 with Autosomal Dominant Polycystic Kidney Disease, an inherited condition in which fluid-filled cysts develop all over the kidneys causing them to swell up and stop working. Patients with the disorder usually have kidney failure by the age of 40.
Around 1 in 700 to 1,000 people get this disease and around 12.5 million people are living with it worldwide.
In such patients, the health of the kidneys has to be regularly monitored and the kidney removed in case there is an infection, bleeding, tumour, or causes difficulty in other bodily functions.
“The antibodies that help us fight off infections cannot enter the cysts, making an infection in the kidney difficult to treat. The cysts are at risk of haemorrhaging and leading to uncontrolled bleeding. In this case, the patient had an infection that wasn’t responding to antibiotics, pain in the left side of the body, and haemorrhaging. He had difficulty in breathing, which could be associated with the size of the kidneys pressing into the diaphragm,” said Dr Katuria.
The man had digestive problems and constipation because of the kidneys taking up almost all the space in the abdominal cavity. This is the reason why the doctors removed the left kidney in a two-hour long surgery.
The doctor says the right kidney, which hasn’t been removed, is even bigger.
“The right kidney is not causing him any problems right now. And, if we remove it, he would be completely dependent on dialysis (the process of artificially performing the kidneys’ function of removing excess water and toxins from the body) till he gets a kidney transplant. He would still need dialysis, just not as often as he would if the other kidney was also removed,” he said.
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