March 2022 • Volume 16, No. 3

From the Editor

March is National Kidney Month. Did you know that 37 million people in the United States are estimated to have chronic kidney disease (CKD)? 

On average, kidney disease affects one in nine people, and most of them are not even aware they are ill because CKD is largely asymptomatic at the beginning, according to the American Society of Nephrology. This lack of early detection can be fatal. But early recognition and appropriate treatment can slow down or even stop the progression of CKD.

You can protect your kidneys by preventing or managing health conditions that cause kidney damage, such as diabetes and high blood pressure. The basics are the healthy-living tips you already know: healthy food choices, drinking enough water, getting enough sleep, cutting back on alcohol, stopping smoking, minimizing stress, and getting more physical activity.

In this issue, we’ll take a look at some news in the kidney surgery world.

Our Student in the Spotlight is Stephanie Wilson, DNP, APRN, of Phoenix, AZ. Scroll down for jobs we’ve collected for you this month, plus NIFA’s favorite links.

And while you’re reading, drink a big glass of water!


Julie Lancaster, Editor

Kidney News

Man Loses 135 Pounds for Kidney Transplant

The story of a “Renal Warrior” who turned the tragedy of kidney failure into triumph. This article from UC Davis Health covers the six-year journey of a man’s diagnosis of kidney failure at age 34 as a result of untreated high blood pressure to his lifesaving transplant surgery earlier this month. Read More…

Doctor Splits Rare Horseshoe Kidney to Benefit 2 Transplant Patients

“A horseshoe kidney is a congenital malformation in which the kidneys don’t separate during development. Instead, they stay fused together at the lower end,” writes Tracey Romero from the Philly Voice. “It’s quite rare, affecting 1 in 500 people.” Such organs are sometimes discarded, but Dr. Ty B. Dunn at Penn Medicine was able “to do good with something that is often too complicated.” Read more. . .

A Case Report of Recurrent Glomerulonephritis 27 Years After Renal Transplant

“Herein we present the case of a patient who was diagnosed with membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis and underwent renal transplant 27 years prior to presentation with new kidney failure,” writes a team headed by A.R. Tagliaferri, St. Joseph’s Hospital, Paterson, NJ. “This case is unique, because she was outside of the typical window for both chronic rejection and recurrent disease. This case also raises awareness of the utility of renal biopsy to differentiate these two conditions, which allows physicians to treat accordingly.”
Read more. . .

Cost Analysis Fuels Debate on Transplant Waitlists

“Policies that increase access to waiting lists for kidney transplant are likely to substantially increase administrative and medical costs without providing any benefit,” writes Jeff Minerd on MedPage Today. Minerd was citing a new study that examined cost reports from all certified U.S. transplant hospitals from 2012-2017. Among the findings: “Measures solely to increase waiting list access, unaccompanied by measures to improve organ availability, are unlikely to succeed in increasing the number of kidney transplants.”

Read the article on MedPage Today. . .
Read the survey. . .

Other News

New Technology Could Make Biopsies a Thing of the Past

A Columbia University Engineering team has developed a technology that could replace conventional biopsies and histology with real-time imaging within the living body, according to a paper published on March 28 in Nature Engineering.

“MediSCAPE is a high-speed 3D microscope capable of capturing images of tissue structures that could guide surgeons to navigate tumors and their boundaries without needing to remove tissues and wait for pathology results,” reads an article from Columbia University’s School of Engineering and Applied Science on NewsWise.

Current microscopes available for surgical guidance only give the surgeon an image of a small, single 2D plane, and generally require a fluorescent dye to be injected into the patient. Over the past decade, Elizabeth Hillman, professor of biomedical engineering and radiology at Columbia and senior author of the study, has been developing new microscopes that can capture very fast 3D images of living samples. The team is now working on clinical trials, commercialization and FDA approval.

Read a summary on NewsWise…
Read an abstract or access the full study…



Kidney Transplant Surgery | Inside the OR. – A 5-minute kidney transplant surgery narrated by the surgeon, Dinee C. Simpson, MD, assistant professor of surgery at Northwestern Medicine, Chicago. Watch Video…


Retroperitoneal Robotic Partial Nephrectomy. An almost 2-hour video of this surgical procedure, performed by James Porter, M.D. from Swedish Hospital and broadcast to the Seattle Science Foundation. Watch Video…


Five kidney donors and their recipients make up a chain of life. From NPR News. 9-minute story. Watch video…

Student Spotlight: Stephanie Wilson


Student Status
Current student in NIFA’s RNFA program

City & State
Phoenix, AZ

Current Position
Nurse practitioner with a vascular surgery group

Where did you get your RN degree?
Arizona State University

How did you come to choose perioperative nursing?
I actually don’t have experience in perioperative nursing. My background as an RN is in CVICU [Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit]. I recently became an NP and found myself interested in working with a surgical group. NIFA has been extremely helpful with this transition.

What is one technique or RNFA trick you’ve learned from NIFA that you will use for life?
ALL OF IT! I had no experience in the operating room and the SutureStar workshop really helped my comfort level.

How do you feel having your RNFA will impact your life/career?
Having my RNFA will make me a much more well-rounded and valuable nurse practitioner.

Jobs Front

Click here for the RNFA job postings we’ve collected for you this month.

NIFA – Office Hours

Monday-Thursday, 8:00am – 5:00pm
Friday, 8:00am – 4:00pm

Practice Resources

Here are several of the most-in-demand sites for our students, prospective students and grads:

MD Edge Surgery News: Specialty News and Commentaries, Videos and More
RNFA Scope of Practice by State (PDF)
ACS List of Cases that Require an Assistant at Surgery, 2020 (PDF)
Perioperative Nurse Links (state nursing boards & professional associations)
APRN Nurse Links

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this newsletter are strictly those of their respective authors and do not necessarily represent the views of NIFA. NIFA does not give any express or implied warranty as to the accuracy of statements made by our contributors and does not accept any liability for error or omission. It is the responsibility of all perioperative personnel to work within and adhere to their facility bylaws and individual scope of practice.

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