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Stevie Wonder has a living kidney donor. Here's what that means.

Kristen Jordan Shamus, Detroit Free Press on

Published in Entertainment News

Q: What does dialysis do?

A: "When a person needs dialysis, they need their blood cleaned because their kidneys are not cleaning their blood," Denny said. "Typically, a person is hooked up to a dialysis machine for three to four hours, three times a week."

A person would go to a medical center or dialysis center so the machine can be connected through an artery-vein fistula in the arm or through a catheter in the neck to filter their blood.

Sometimes, Denny said, the dialysis machine can be connected through a tube placed in the abdomen, which allows for treatment at home. That's called peritoneal dialysis.

Q: What sorts of things might Stevie Wonder's medical team be doing for him as he travels prior to surgery?

A: "I don't have direct knowledge of what his medical team is," Denny said, "But that said, it depends.

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"If he is already on dialysis, he may, because he has means, have a doctor or a nurse helping him with a mobile dialysis situation, where he's either doing it himself in his abdomen or they could be hooking him up to a machine.

"It could also mean he's close to dialysis but not actually on it yet and he is able to have his doctors come with him to check him on a regular basis ... monitoring his blood chemistry, those sort of things."

Q: What kind of preparation is needed prior to a kidney transplant?

A: For a person like Wonder, who is receiving an organ transplant, Denny said the main requirement is that the person be healthy enough to have the surgery.

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