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N.J. Prosecutor Getting Fourth Kidney

March 22, 2002

HACKENSACK, N.J. (AP) _ An assistant county prosecutor who already has three kidneys in his body will receive a fourth Friday when he undergoes his second transplant operation.

Ike Gavzy, 48, suffers from benign familial hematuria, a hereditary disease that slowly eroded his own kidneys’ ability to function. When the kidneys he was born with began to falter in the early 1980s, he received a third kidney from his father.

Since Gavzy’s own kidneys were not doing any harm, doctors left them in place and installed the third one just above his waist and to the right of his navel.

Now, 20 years later, that donated kidney is functioning at barely 15 percent capacity. On Friday, he went back into surgery to receive another kidney, this time from a cousin. The fourth kidney will be just above his waist, but on the left side.

Judith Cianci, senior transplant coordinator for kidneys at New York’s Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center, said Gavzy could be back home by Tuesday and may be able to return to work in about a month.

Cianci said doctors conducting the transplant Friday did not want to do unnecessary surgery to remove Gavzy’s other kidneys because they were doing no harm. She said it wasn’t unusual in patients undergoing a retransplant for the old kidneys to remain in the body.

Gavzy, chief of the special investigations squad for Bergan County, said before the surgery that his main concern was that his cousin, David Gavzy, not develop any complications as a result of the kidney donation.

``He’s taking a healthy kidney and having it removed _ for me. It definitely gives you a different perspective on life,″ Gavzy told The Record of Hackensack for Friday’s editions. ``It makes life seem even more precious than it already should be.″

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