What is Lupus? Understanding Selena Gomez's Condition That Required Kidney Transplant

Selena Gomez surprised her fans when she announced that she had a kidney transplant this summer. The singer and actress revealed the reason she wasn’t visible in public and it was because she needed to undergo a delicate surgery and recovery.

REUTERS/Danny Moloshok

Selena Gomez revealed she had a kidney transplant over the summer for her Lupus condition.

In a post on Instagram, Gomez shared that one of her best friends, actress Francia Raisa, donated a kidney to help out the former Disney star. It’s no secret that the 25-year-old suffers from Lupus, which she revealed in 2015. At that time, she was already dealing with her medical condition for two years before going public.

Following her post, fans wondered if Gomez’s was actually sicker than she appears, considering she needed a transplant for a vital organ. Doctors said, however, that people with Lupus suffer from different symptoms that affect major organs like the heart, lungs, kidneys, and brain. At least 80 percent of children and half the adults with Lupus struggle with kidney diseases.

“It’s called lupus nephritis when that happens, which is inflammation of the kidneys,” New York rheumatologist Dr. Alana Levine explained. “As toxins build up, the kidneys might not be able to filter the blood properly, and in severe cases, a patient can become very sick.”

Transplant doctor Robert Montgomery told People that there’s a good indication Gomez’s condition is no longer serious as a transplant, in this case, can only be undertaken if the Lupus is in remission.

“It sounds like she was treated a few years ago and now her lupus is under good control, or else they wouldn’t have done the operation,” Montgomery stated.

Since the young star received a live organ transplant, she may have a longer life expectancy than if the kidney came from a deceased donor. Gomez is also young, as is her donor, which makes doctors confident she will fully recover in no time.

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