What Happens to the Empty Space Left Behind After You Donate an Organ?

The Question reads: Kinetik_Inferno – When an organ is donated, there has to be a space left behind, so do the doctors fill that space with some sort of material that the body doesn’t perceive as foreign? Or does the body itself fill the gap?

Answers: Repentia-The body is organised into several compartments, usually by function. Some of these are completely closed off and others are open to each other. If the space is emptied the spaces surrounding it will expand to fill it. The kidney, for example, sits in the retroperitoneum. With the kidney removed that space will effectively flatten and the closest organs will passively fill the space. In this case that would be the liver from above (right side) and the stomach and bowel (left side). Gasses are absorbed through tissues after several hours, as is inappropriate liquids.

Epsilonius – Will this give you a bigger stomach so you can noticably eat more before getting full? Is this a problem for people after surgery, putting on weight etc?

Thrilldigger – Putting on weight can be a problem immediately after any major surgery (excluding bariatric surgery for obvious reasons) for a variety of reasons, including decreased activity and your body’s need for nutrients to heal the damage done by the surgery.

As for your stomach, it can naturally expand over time if you overeat regularly, but removal of adjacent organs won’t itself significantly expand your stomach’s size.

Interesting side-note: with bariatric surgeries like gastric bypass and duodenal switch – both of which reduce the patient’s stomach to a small pouch – the patient’s stomach can over time expand back to close to its original size despite having been reduced by 70% or more in the surgery. Via Reddit

For More Reddit Science question and Answers click this link!