Woman donates kidney to save 34-yr-old brother

Writer:   |  Editor: Zhang Chanwen  |  From: Shenzhen Daily  |  Updated: 2023-03-22

A 34-year-old man surnamed Qi recently underwent a living related-donor kidney transplant at a local hospital after struggling with chronic kidney failure for about two years.

The surgery, the city’s first living related-donor kidney transplant, took place at the Third People’s Hospital of Shenzhen where Qi received his older sister’s left kidney, according to a report by Shenzhen TV.

Qi was diagnosed with chronic renal failure and began undergoing regular dialysis treatment in 2021. Doctors told him that a kidney transplant was necessary if he wanted to avoid continued dialysis. After consultations with several organ transplant centers, Qi chose to have the surgery performed by Fu Yingxin, a doctor from the Third People’s Hospital of Shenzhen.

Unfortunately, tests prior to the operation revealed that Qi was sensitized and had antibodies in his body, which would make it challenging to find a suitable nonrelated donor. The risk of rejection would also be high during the early postoperative recovery phase, according to Fu.

Fu explained that Qi may have produced antibodies due to blood transfusions he received during his treatment for renal anemia in the early phase of uremia.

When Qi’s older sister, 41, learned that he was unable to undergo a nonrelated kidney transplant due to his sensitization and the presence of antibodies in his body, she did not hesitate to offer her kidney for donation. “If one kidney is enough to save my brother’s life, I will do it,” Qi’s sister said.

The transplant was conducted March 11. To reduce Qi’s sister’s discomfort, the operation was performed using minimally invasive techniques and a robot was used to extract the left kidney from her body. About an hour later, the kidney was successfully transplanted into Qi’s body.

According to Fu, living related-donor transplants offer several advantages over nonrelated transplants, including a lower risk of rejection and a shorter ischemia time.