Kidney Transplants

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Posted: Thursday, January 10, 2013 4:16 pm | Updated: 9:10 pm, Wed May 8, 2013.

On the day Evan Tanner was born he was given zero percent chance of living. Three years later he's alive and happy, continuing to beat the odds.

The unique procedure that is helping him may save many more lives.

Little Evan is non-stop! "He always has a smile on his face." But he was born with a laundry list of issues and on top of all this. "We knew in the womb he had no left kidney. He had a right kidney, but that kidney was full of cysts."

Anti-bodies had built up in evan. "antibodies like this that are high enough at the time of the transplant, would cause, in this case a kidney transplant, to reject it on the operating room table."

But through this blood cleansing process at UCLA Evan, who is type a, could receive a kidney from his mom, who is Type AB.

In a two-step process Evan undergoes IVIG, where antibodies are isolated from donated blood and high doses are infused into Evan. This helps keep his body from attacking a donated kidney after transplant. "The other arm of the treatment is plasma pheresis, it actually physically removes proteins from the blood stream."

It takes two and half hours, three days a week, for several weeks. But, it allowed Evan's mother to give her baby boy a new kidney. "When they do an ultrasound, they laugh because they look for a little kidney and there's like this little body… and then bam! It's like a big kidney."

It's been months since the transplant and Evan's still going strong.

The doctor has had a 94 percent survival rate with this type of transplant.

Women who have had multiple pregnancies, people who've undergone several transfusions and those on dialysis are the most likely to need this type of treatment before a transplant.

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