HCA Neighborhood Health Watch: Kidney transplant and organ donation

HCA Neighborhood Health Watch: Kidney transplant and organ donation

(WWBT) - Today in Neighborhood Health Watch, we're discussing kidney transplant and organ donation.

People who need a kidney transplant have suffered some form of kidney failure. The kidneys aren't flushing out waste as it should. It can be the result of diabetes, high blood pressure, or a number of inherited diseases. Kidney failure can be fatal if left untreated.

To become a living organ donor, contact your local transplant center.

Dr. Ralph Layman with Henrico Doctors Hospital says the transplant center experts there talk with living organ donors all the time. Either families with a loved one who needs a kidney transplant or some people just decide they want to donate and offer up their kidney for someone in need.

"At this time, nationally, there's about 95,000 people waiting for a kidney transplant, and over 2,000 are here in Virginia," said Dr. Layman.

NBC12 asked Dr. Layman about the kidney procedure called embolization that First Lady Melania Trump just underwent and whether or not this is a way of staving off something more serious.

"As we know, there's not a lot of details out about Melania's condition yet. But, in general, embolization is an intervention radiological procedure where the blood vessels are accessed. Usually through the groin and the kidneys' arteries are accessed through the aorta. With that, either medications or sometimes devices are then deployed through the artery to stop the blood flow to some part of an organ," said Dr. Layman.

Dr. Layman says with advanced kidney disease, the kidney slowly shuts down - sometimes over a short period of time, and sometimes over a number of years. It just doesn't do its function as well, and the waste products start to build up.

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