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Will removing the kidney alleviate my pain?

Q: I am a 35-year-old woman and my right kidney is small. My left kidney is functioning at 81% and the right one at 19%. I am scheduled for kidney removal. My doctor can't say if this will relieve my pain. I am willing to take the risk due to the pain I have. My doctor feels that it got damaged due to infections in childhood. What are the risks of not removing it and the benefits of removing it?

A:You have a right poorly functioning kidney due to chronic pyelonephritis. The indications to remove such a kidney would be: 1. Life threatening infection due to this kidney 2. Uncontrolled blood pressure requiring more than 3-4 drugs 3. Bleeding from the kidney 4. Intractable pain It seems that you have pain, which may be due to this. If pain is severe and there is no other cause to explain the pain then there may be an indication to remove this kidney. However if there is any doubt then, you should not. If there is no active infection at present, there is no harm in leaving the kidney as such. The kidney should be removed only in the conditions I have already delineated above.


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