Missing kidney or Floating Kidney

Patient

Q:
I was hoping someone could give me a better idea of what is going on. When i was 18 i was in the hospital for unrelated reasons but when I had to drink that awful stuff and have a CT done when the Dr. got the results his first question to me was "Have you ever been in a car accident or had any major trauma that would explain why you only have one kidney" Ofcourse my mother and I looked at each other stunned because we had no idea. Anyways the Dr explained that i was missing my right kidney and even showed me the scans, apparently must have been a birth defect. Shortly after I moved to GA and just to be on the safe side visited a Nephrologist. He set up a kidney function test at a local hospital to have an IVP test done, atleast I beleive that is what it was. A week or two pass and I get a phone call for the results, this is where I get confused. The nephrologist said that everything looked good my left kidney did 70 some odd percent of the work and the right side did 20%. I was young and didn't ask the obvious question what does that mean? Is there another kidney that is obviously smaller and doesn't do much work hiding in my body? Why would we not have seen it on the CT. The Nephrologist has moved and I can't find him anymore and the hospital where I had the test done can't give me a copy unless I come in to sign a form which poses a problem because I live six hours away. Ugh very frustrated I didn't do a better job being my own advocate. Help...

Doctor

A:   As you may already know, Imaging with x-rays involves exposing a part of the body to a small dose of a contrast to produce pictures of the inside of the body.
If the Intra venous Pyelogram showed that you have both kidneys, then there is no doubt about that. The only explanation that might explain this in my opinion is a mistake in the first CT test since a kidney can’t grow after you were born. Certainly there is always a difference in size and functionality between both kidneys.
I would suggest consulting another urologist for an ultrasound to confirm your last test. Let me reassure you that even if you have only one kidney, your body will function as good as having both kidneys but certainly you would want to take care of it. I wish you the best.

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