Elginite recovers following surgery for fourth kidney
By Mike Danahey email@example.com @DanaheyECN on Twitter August 29, 2013 12:36AM
Peter Giannaris, 38, of Elgin, who underwent a successful fourth kidney transplant operation Wednesday at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. | Sun-Times file photo
Updated: October 1, 2013 6:20AM
Peter Giannaris of Elgin received a kidney from an anonymous donor Wednesday morning and is recuperating at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, where he is part of a clinical trial for his method of care.
Dr. Mark Stegall, who performed the procedure, said Wednesday night via email that “Surgery went great. The kidney is functioning well already.”
Giannaris, 38, has polycystic kidney disease. The Mayo Clinic website explains the condition “is an inherited disorder in which clusters of noncancerous, fluid-filled sacs (cysts) develop within the kidneys … (and) can cause cysts to develop elsewhere in the body, too. The disease causes a variety of serious complications.”
The surgery Wednesday was Giannaris’ fourth kidney transplant after living the past 12 years on dialysis, three times a week, 12 total hours a week. Giannaris received a kidney from his mother when he was 9, from his father when he was a teenager and from a deceased donor when he was 24.
For about a year, Giannaris, who was a manager at Paul’s Family Restaurant in Elgin, has been part of the clinical trial and said a pharmaceutical company has been paying for his care.
The clinic’s transplant center is one of the few in the United States that handles transplants for “highly sensitized” patients such as Giannaris who have immune systems that are very prone to rejecting a transplanted organ.
People such as Giannaris are less likely to find a donor who will be a fit for their situation. As such, according to the Mayo Clinic, about 9,000 of the 60,000 people on the national waiting list for kidneys find themselves in straits similar to Giannaris’. The Mayo Clinic Transplant Center has treated about 300 people in the same condition as Giannaris’ over the course of the last 10 years, Stegall said.
Giannaris is expected to be in the hospital for four to seven days, then stay at the Gift of Life Transplant House in Rochester as he recovers before heading back to Elgin. He picks up his the $30-a-day cost for lodging himself.