Surgery: Having a Baby on One Kidney

The resourceful doctors at Boston's Peter Bent Brigham Hospital knew how tough a problem it is to transplant a human kidney under the most favorable circumstances. They had already done transplants from two men to their identical twins—and each operation was apparently successful. But what would happen to a transplanted kidney if the recipient were a woman and she later became pregnant?

The Brigham doctors were well aware that pregnancy is notoriously hard on a normal woman's paired kidneys. Various degrees of blood poisoning, including the deadliest form known as eclampsia (marked by coma and convulsions), are somehow involved in a...

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