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Forum Name: Urology Topics

Question: Effects of alcohol after a bilateral reflux surgery


 joe1 - Sat Jan 17, 2009 2:22 pm

I am a 22 yr. old male. I had surgery for a bilateral reflux when I was approximately 1-2 yrs. of age. It left me with 25% of one kidney and 75% of the other. As I am an average 22 yr. old I gout out for occasional drinks with friends. What effects, other then the obvious, wil this have on me? Would alcohol have a more elevated effect on me than someone with fully developed kidneys?
 John Kenyon, CNA - Wed Mar 11, 2009 8:40 pm

User avatar Hello --

I think the key here is a) the amount of drinking you do and b) understanding the fact that you have less kidney capacity than others and that alcohol can, in excess, damage normal kidneys (and the liver), so you have to exercise some care and restraint in drinking, which is probably all to the good anyway, since alcohol is not necessary to life, but at least one functioning kidney is necessary to life.

That being said, drinking in moderation or lightly should not have an untoward effect on your better functioning kidney, although it could well damage,over time, the one rated at 25%. Since between them you have the equivalent of one fully functional kidney, you don't want to damage etiher one, and you really must avoid liver damage via excessive drinking as well.

For one with diminished kidney function drinking can cause loss of electrolyted (potassium, magnesium, etc.) in the urine, which has consequences of its own. So my advice would be to learn to keep your drinking to a minimum, realize it's not the determining factor in your enjoyment of life, and be careful to keep a close rein on your intake of alcohol. It's as simple as that. While your buddies may be drinking heavily (never a great idea anyway), you'll have to be the sensible one in order to insure you have sufficient kidney function to live out a normal, healthy life. This does not mean giving up alcohol altogether, but it does mean learning moderation early in life when many young people are throwing caution to the wind, often with unfortunate results later in life. You don't have to be like them.

I hope this answers your question. Good luck to you. Please follow up with us here as needed.

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