Kansas City Kidney Consultants Logo

  • Dr. Sharma with Patient
  • Dr. Crouch with Patient
  • Dr. Wood with Patient
Patient Focused Services
Our staff possesses unparalleled
expertise and training in
general medicine, nephrology,
and hypertension.
Compassionate Care
And Professionalism
Our goal is to provide quality,
comprehensive and compassionate
care in a unique one on one basis
with respect, dignity and kindness.
Dialysis Care
We strive to see each
of our dialysis patients
weekly at one of our seven
dialysis locations.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a nephrologist?

• A nephrologist is a specialist in internal medicine who has done further sub-specialty training in diseases involving the kidney, including high blood pressure, protein, or blood in the urine and kidney failure and the diagnosis and treatment of those diseases. This may include dialysis and kidney transplantation.

How do I know if I have kidney disease?

• You may not know. Kidney disease is silent until it is far advanced. Your primary care doctor may have discovered your kidney disease and sent you to one of our specialists because of abnormal laboratory tests.

What tests show the presence of kidney disease?

• The amount of creatine in the blood is a protein marker (indicator) for the level of your kidney function. The higher the creatine number, the lower your kidney function. Your urine tests may also suggest kidney disease by the presence of protein or blood, which should not be there.

What can I expect at my first appointment?

• Your blood pressure will be recorded as it is both a major cause and result of kidney disease. Your provider will review with you any X-rays you have had of your kidneys and all previous kidney testing available. A comprehensive exam will be done, and your provider will discuss what these mean to you regarding the need for treatment or further diagnostic testing.

What should I bring with me to my appointments?

• Bring your insurance card, photo ID, and co-pay to your first appointment as well as a list of your medications and any X-rays or laboratory tests that your primary care providers has provided you. At all subsequent appointments, always bring your current medication list to assure no duplication of medications are ordered.

Am I responsible for my co-pay at the time of service?

• Yes, we ask that you pay your co-pay at the time of service. We have a contractual obligation with each insurance company to collect your co-pay in order to receive payment for the service. If you fail to pay your co-pay, the insurance company may deny the service and transfer the responsibility of payment to you.

Do I need to schedule an appointment for labs?

• We request that you schedule an appointment for labs and all services provided by Kansas City Kidney Consultants in order to make sure you are taken care of in a timely manner.

How do I refill a prescription?

• If you are calling to request a prescription refill, we ask that you please contact your pharmacist and have them e-scribe the request to our office. This will assist our staff in processing your prescription in a timely manner.

What kind of insurance do we accept?

• Kansas City Kidney Consultants accepts most insurance plans, including Medicare and Medicaid. Please call us if you have any questions regarding our participation in your particular plan.

What are the most common causes of kidney disease?

• High blood pressure and diabetes are the most common causes of kidney disease. Other forms of disease that may affect the kidney may be diagnosed by taking a small piece of the kidney called a kidney biopsy, a special test done by a specialist called a radiology interventionist.

Are there medications I should avoid with kidney disease?

• All arthritis drugs called non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may worsen kidney function and should be avoided. Your nephrologist can provide you with a list of these drugs. Certain blood pressure drugs that may protect the kidney, called ace inhibitors or angiotensin receptor blockers, may actually make kidney function worse or may raise the blood potassium level, which is dangerous to the heart.

What is potassium?

• Potassium is a common salt that occurs in most proteins that the kidney regulates. With kidney disease, potassium cannot be excreted normally and may build up in the blood, causing weakness and possibly death. Certain drugs, like diuretics that block potassium loss and blood pressure drugs like ace inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers, may make high potassium worse by blocking the kidneys ability to eliminate potassium. Your nephrologist may measure your potassium, as well as your creatine, frequently, which is why you may need more blood tests than you are used to.

What are the "stages" of kidney disease?

• Your primary care doctor or your nephrologist may have told you that you have stage three, four, or five kidney disease. These are levels of kidney function that are mathematically calculated and are used for your doctors to communicate with each other. You should not worry about what the actual number represents as this is what your nephrologist bases his recommendations on for protecting your remaining kidney function.

What can I do to help protect my kidneys?

• Under most circumstances, drinking 2 to 3 quarts of fluids daily may help your kidney function. Maintaining a blood pressure less than 130/80 will protect your kidneys the most. Avoiding the arthritis drugs, non-steroidal anti-inflammatories, and maintaining good blood sugar control if you are diabetic will help protect your kidneys. Sometimes, reducing the protein in your diet will help protect your kidney function. Your nephrologist will go over all these possible treatments with you at one of your visits.

Why am I anemic? Have I been anemic for years?

• The kidney is the source of a hormone that stimulates the bone marrow to make blood. If you have adequate iron in your blood, replacement of this hormone, called Aranesp or EPO, will help restore your blood to a more normal level.

What symptoms will I feel if my kidneys completely fail?

• You may not feel any different at first if your kidneys completely fail. Eventually, you will develop extreme fatigue, nausea, loss of appetite, generalized weakness, hiccups, extreme diffuse itching, and difficulty sleeping.

What can I do at that time?

• Your options are to do dialysis, which cleans the blood, or have a kidney transplant. There are three types of dialysis: blood dialysis done at an outpatient center, peritoneal dialysis done at home, and blood dialysis done at home. Your nephrologist will discuss the risks and benefits of each of these treatments.

Do I need to do anything to get ready for dialysis?

• If you choose blood dialysis, you will need a "vascular access"—a surgically created vein of your own called a fistula or an artificial vein called a graft—to place the needles connecting you to the dialysis machine. Prior to this, an artificial catheter would be placed to attach you to the dialysis machine. If you choose peritoneal dialysis, a catheter will be placed in your abdomen, and the cleansing process would be done inside your abdomen. It requires about three months to make a successful "fistula" or "graft" and about six weeks to use a peritoneal dialysis catheter, so careful planning is important. Your nephrologist will discuss these options with you.

What is a kidney transplant?

• Most nephrologists consider dialysis as treatment for kidney failure while kidney transplant is the cure. You can be referred to a kidney transplant program, such as Saint Luke's Transplant Center, and can be evaluated as a candidate to receive either from a deceased kidney donor or from a friend or relative willing to donate a kidney to you. A new kidney, surgically placed in your groin, will filter your blood as your own kidney did. You will be required to take very potent medications to protect your new kidney from being damaged by your own immune system. Your nephrologist or transplant doctor will discuss these risks and benefits with you.

Mission Statement

Kansas City Kidney Consultants mission is to provide the best possible medical care for our patients with dignity, respect, kindness, and courtesy while building a practice that allows us to provide that care in a pleasant and comfortable atmosphere.

Medical Plaza I, 4320 Wornall Road Suite #208, Kansas City, MO 64111, Tel: 816-531-0552

100 NE Missouri Road Suite #204, Lee's Summit MO 64086, Tel: 816-531-0552