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  • How old is too old for a transplant?

    Hi,

    I'm asking this question for my mom, who just started on in-center hemo dialysis 5 months ago. She's 69 years old, turning 70 this November, has been diabetic for 20 years, but was diagnosed with CKD in 2005. At first my mom was against the idea of a transplant if that would mean getting it from any one of her children. She said since the disease seems to run in the family then we needed to keep ours for ourselves. But then again she's having a difficult time adjusting to the dialysis, so when we told her the kidney can come from someone else she said she's willing to consider that.

    However, when I asked her neph about it he immediately shot down the idea. He said with the host of complications my mom is suffering from, plus her age, it's close to impossible to get approval for transplantation. He said it would take a year or 2 just to get on the list, and a wait of 5 years or more to get a transplant, if at all. By then my mom would be too old for a transplant. He said the only way my mom could get one sooner is if any one of her relatives would donate a kidney. Is this true? Thanks for any info sent my way.

    Pollyanna

  • #2
    It sounds pretty accurate to me. Many people in their 70's receive transplants as long as they qualify otherwise. Actually transplants have a better chance in older patients because their immune systems have weakened with age and there isn't as big a chance of rejection as there is with younger patients.
    Whatever does not kill me makes me stronger...Neitzsche
    Flip

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    • #3
      It depends.......

      alot of it depends on the medical center performing the procedure.

      the one I'm going thru would not even consider a patient under 65.
      " GO AHEAD, MAKE MY DAY"-Dirty Harry

      (fspencer@bak.rr.com)

      Comment


      • #4
        Age

        Well I am 73 and have just passed my yearly @ UNC in Chapel Hill. I am in the process to get on the list in Charlotte, median wait time 14 mos.
        A Dr has to recommend you and if you are on dialysis they too have to recommend you. Don't let a little thing like age and other illness stop you from trying. Above all be compliant, get regular exercise and have a wonderful attitude. Can't never can and some times can can't. But if you don't try the answer is 24K gold plated NO.
        May God have mercy on us all

        CK

        Idiopathic globular membranous nephritis 1999-2006
        Feb 2006 Dx about 1-2 yrs before dialysis. Dialysis start 6-2006
        Chest Cath 4 mos in center hemo dialysis
        Fistula, button holes, self stick days 07-09 in center hemo
        Graft nocturnal hemo 4Q09 to present

        Comment


        • #5
          Everything the others say is true. But is also true that you get the transplant accomplished faster if you have a living donor. If you wait for a cadaver it can take a long time. If you have a living donor, they just schedule the surgery once both donor and recipient have passed the screening tests.
          To the stars through difficulty!

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Pancho3 View Post
            alot of it depends on the medical center performing the procedure.

            the one I'm going thru would not even consider a patient under 65.
            I'm a bit confused.
            You mean they will only do transplants on younger people or only on older people?

            I know where I go in Canada, I have not been told of any age limits.
            I do know that to even get on the waiting list here, it can take over 3 years.You have to wait in line with all the other "regular" people that have to see the same specialists.
            Sometimes you end up waiting 1 year just for one test and that sucks.

            I almost wish I could live in the US as healthcare seems much faster than around here!

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Ottawagirl View Post
              I'm a bit confused.
              You mean they will only do transplants on younger people or only on older people?

              I know where I go in Canada, I have not been told of any age limits.
              I do know that to even get on the waiting list here, it can take over 3 years.You have to wait in line with all the other "regular" people that have to see the same specialists.
              Sometimes you end up waiting 1 year just for one test and that sucks.p

              I almost wish I could live in the US as healthcare seems much faster than around here!
              I live in Montreal and got on the list in six months and every test was done as an inpatient. i ended up having my husband as a donor but the testing certainly wasn't an issue. My dr told me the units are as anxious as you to get you out of dialysis as there is such a huge increase in demand for dialysis.They need the space!!!
              Pollyana, one of the transplants on my floor when I got my transplant was 74 and doing really well! A lot depends on the patient's other medical problems.

              Comment


              • #8
                Question on drinking and transplant

                I use to be a heavy drinker and wondering if that will keep me from getting on the transplant list....I am afraid to ask. First I have to pass the heart Dr. & stress test then on to the blood work which I will assume checks the liver. Any info anyone....I'm 63, 19% function....main symptom is TIRED!!! thanks Phyl
                [I]Learning to dance in the rain....

                Peritoneal dialysis 1 yr.
                GFR 12
                On Transplant list 2 yrs.
                On hold now for 6 mths. due to heart problem corrected with stents.

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                • #9
                  It shouldn't be a problem as long as your liver enzymes are okay. A simple blood test will determine. It isn't unusual to be tired at 19%.
                  Whatever does not kill me makes me stronger...Neitzsche
                  Flip

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                  • #10
                    thanks

                    Flip, thanks for your input....I'll be back on these forums a lot. Phyl
                    [I]Learning to dance in the rain....

                    Peritoneal dialysis 1 yr.
                    GFR 12
                    On Transplant list 2 yrs.
                    On hold now for 6 mths. due to heart problem corrected with stents.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I know that the folks at AA would disapprove, but if you have been sober for some time and your liver enzymes are okay, I would not tell the transplant people about the heavy drinking history. Of course, if you have been hospitalized in the past for an alcohol related issue, or if you have been hospitalized for alcohol addiction treatment they will find out anyway. I say this because another person, on another site, told her center that she had used marijuana experimentally as a teenager (she was still a young adult at the time) and they refused her a transplant on the basis of "drug abuse."
                      To the stars through difficulty!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Drinking

                        Well, the center I tested at asked the point blank question - Do you drink? If yes, how much? I drink about 12 glasses of wine a week and they didn't blink at that answer at all. Again, my testing came back normal with regards to liver enzymes and so the question was never asked again by the social worker. I also drink while I eat so my alcohol is absorbed into my food. I'm not sitting in front of the t.v. with a bottle of wine, if you know what I mean.

                        I would think the blood test would tell them the story.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Not if a person has been sober for a while. Also when a person says they drink heavily I think of something a lot more than a couple of glasses of wine with meals.
                          To the stars through difficulty!

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