Could You Live Without Your Kidneys?

Your kidneys are two purplish-brown, flat, bean-shaped organs that lie on each side of your spine near your waistline. These fist-sized organs are among the most important in your body.

The kidneys’ most important function is the production of urine, which carries waste materials out of your body. It is just as important for your body to be able to get rid of what it does not need as it is for it to take in what it does need. For if poisonous wastes accumulate in your body, they can cause death.

Kidneys, at the same time, help control the production of red blood cells and maintain the body’s blood pressure.

A person can live with only one functioning kidney if the other is diseased or has been removed. But no one can live without both kidneys, unless he undergoes almost daily treatments on a special machine called a dialysis machine. This machine is attached to the body, and cleans the blood and removes the wastes, two of the jobs that the kidneys usually do.

If one of a person’s kidneys is removed or diseased, the other may enlarge enough to carry on the work of two and permit a person to live a normal life.

Two normal kidneys contain 2 million tiny blood filters which filter 50 gallons of blood every day!


  1. Azadali Kassam says

    I have polycystic kidneys and had a transplant last year in Summer but the new kidney failed and I went back on dialysis three times a week. I have an appointment for consultation in two weeks time with the surgeon to discuss removal of all three kidneys and the hernia at the place of the new kidney repaired. My renal doctor would then consider me suitable for another transplant once it is healed. With the little urine I pass this will come an end.

  2. Kris Hunt says

    I have PKD and have been on PD for the last 3 years, the doctors are now talking about removing both of my kidneys. I’m very scared to make a decision. yes I want them out, I have a lot of pain, and sickness from them but worry that the surgery is a huge thing and all the what if’s. I have a 6 and 8 year old daughters and finding it harder and harder to take care of them. Is there anyone out there who is on PD and has had their kidneys removed to tell me what would happen after the removal? I know you can’t do PD for some time and would have to do hemo, but can you drive or anything and how long would recovery be?

  3. ronald worman says

    my best friend had both kidneys removed. he is almost 65, had a stroke 5 years ago, open heart surgery 3 years ago and is a diabetic. Does he have a chance to overcome all this in his life. thanks Ron

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