Patient who lost two kidneys gets one back

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Doctors at the Hue Central Hospital in central Vietnam on Tuesday completed a kidney transplant for a woman who had both her kidneys removed in a bizarre act of malpractice by doctors in the Mekong Delta.

Hua Cam Tu, 37, of Can Tho City, underwent a tense surgery that lasted a day to get a left kidney given by a donor whose identity has not been revealed.

The surgery began on Tuesday morning but was suspended a few hours later after the doctors noticed that she was not passing urine. The surgery resumed on the afternoon after her condition improved.

She has currently been placed under close observation, doctors said, adding the patient has been able to eat and drink after the surgery.

Tu's ordeal began when was admitted to the Can Tho General Hospital on December 1, 2011 to treat her water-congested left kidney. Her right kidney was normal and functioning properly.

On Dec 6, 2011, a group of doctors led by Dr Tran Van Nguyen performed a key-hole surgery to remove water from her left kidney.

Nguyen Thien Tri, Tu's husband, said he had signed a document in which he gave permission to the hospital to perform the key-hole surgery on his wife.

The document allowed the doctors to remove the left kidney in a worst case scenario. The right kidney was to be kept intact.

Two hours after the surgery, Tu's family was told that the surgery was successful.

However, Tu's body swelled up the following day. Tri said a subsequent ultrasound scan showed that Tu had no kidney left.

After Tri asked the doctors about the "missing kidney," Dr Nguyen told him that doctors were forced to remove Tu's right kidney due to an unexpected situation in the operation.


Nguyen said Tu bled a lot during the operation. She had a rare condition horseshoe kidney in which the nerves of her kidneys were stuck together so it was impossible to stop the bleeding, he said.

Doctors were forced to remove her right kidney to save her, Dr Nguyen said.

Tri later sent a complaint to the hospital, which led to Dr Nguyen's suspension.

Vu Le Chuyen, chairman of the Vietnam Kidney Association, said horseshoe kidney can be detected via ultrasound scan, CT scan or X-ray scan.

He blamed scan technicians at the Can Tho hospital for not detecting Tu's defect.

Tu's health deteriorated fast after the removal of both kidneys and she was put on regular dialysis.

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