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A 34-year-old member asked:

can you function with one kidney?

1 doctor answer4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Rajesh Boorgu
Nephrology and Dialysis 27 years experience
Yes: Yes many patients are either born with one kidney or have to have a resection. The remaining kidney can be overworked to compensate for loss of tissue. Sometimes scarring occurs (called fsgs). However, if the kidney is normal to start with, it usually handles the pressure over the years with no significant problems. Consider nephrology follow up and ace inhibitors.

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A 21-year-old member asked:

If one kidney fails, can the other survive for another 20 years?

2 doctor answers3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Ankush Bansal
Internal Medicine 17 years experience
It depends: That is a question that no one can really answer. There are too many variables including your other medical issues, genetics, etc. But with close follow-up, hopefully, it will remain healthy for a long time.
CA
A 21-year-old member asked:

If one kidney fails, does the other weaken?

2 doctor answers4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Ankush Bansal
Internal Medicine 17 years experience
Usually: Usually when one kidney fails for some reason, the other kidney will grow in size and take on some of the load of the other failed kidney. This takes time (years). Of course, this all depends on the other kidney being healthy and one not having a disease that will affect the other kidney. Nevertheless, one should follow closely with their doctor to ensure the one remaining kidney stays healthy.
A 41-year-old member asked:

Can I still live a normal life with one kidney?

2 doctor answers5 doctors weighed in
Dr. Phillip Porch
General Practice 40 years experience
Yes: Many people are born with a single kidney instead of two and never know about it unless they have some form of medical imaging.
A 32-year-old member asked:

Does it mean something if one kidney is slightly bigger than the other?

3 doctor answers5 doctors weighed in
Dr. Anthony Cusano
Nephrology and Dialysis 40 years experience
Kidney size: No. That is normal.
A 32-year-old member asked:

I am a smoker and only have one kidney. Can this affect its function?

1 doctor answer1 doctor weighed in
Dr. Jason Kline
Nephrology and Dialysis 19 years experience
Yes yes yes! : Smoking can lead to damage to the lining of arteries throughout your body. When this damages the renal arteries, kidneys can be slowly choked of their blood supply, contributing to progressive chronic kidney disease. Regardless of how many kidneys i have, i wouldn't want to jeopardize their health due to smoking - not to mention other health risks of smoking... Please try hard to quit! good luck!

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Last updated Jul 12, 2020

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