Living Donor Kidney FAQs. The answers to questions important to you.
Who would qualify in becoming a living kidney donor?
People in good general health can be donors. This usually means having no history of diabetes, no cancer within the last five years, no heart or vascular disease, and no recent or recurrent kidney stones.
What are the standard procedures needed to donate?
Those interested in donation go through four general phases of evaluation.
- First, potential kidney donors complete an online health screening form to the transplant center to determine if they are possible candidates for donation.
- Second, the transplant center arranges preliminary tests that include blood and urine samples. These tests make sure that the potential donor has excellent kidney function and no other abnormal laboratory findings related to donation safety.
- Third, potential kidney donors visit the transplant center for evaluation and discussion with nephrologists, surgeons, nurse coordinators, financial coordinators and social workers. This also includes meeting with an Independent Living Donor Advocate who reviews the potential donor’s goals and motivations for donation. Additional tests may be ordered at this time, including radiology studies of the kidneys and blood vessels.
- Finally, the donor’s full evaluation is reviewed with the multi-disciplinary team and a decision regarding approval to donate is made.
What are the risks of being a living kidney donor?
In the short term, surgery-related risks may include infection, blood loss, and surgical site healing issues such as hernia formation. All together, complications such as these occur in less than 5 to 10% of donors and generally are easily managed. In the long term, donating a kidney leaves an individual with a reserve of 70% of their original kidney function. This is more than adequate to lead a normal life, since people who need dialysis or kidney transplant typically have approximately 10% of normal kidney function. People who have donated a kidney should continue to follow up with their primary healthcare providers for annual check-ups to monitor for any changes in their health that could affect their kidney function. This includes monitoring for diabetes, high blood pressure and screening for blood and/or protein in the urine that can be detected early and managed.
Do I need to be related to the person to whom I wish to donate?
No. You do not need to be related to the person to whom you wish to donate. Blood types do not need to be identical and tissue matching is helpful, but not mandatory.
Is kidney donation transplantation considered dangerous?
No. Kidney donation transplantation is not a dangerous procedure. It is performed laparoscopically and the typical hospital stay is one to two days.
Will my life expectancy be cut short by having kidney donation transplantation?
No. Transplantation does not affect a donor’s life expectancy.
Can I still have children after having kidney donation transplantation?
Yes. You will still have the ability to have children.
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Living Kidney Donor
Interested in becoming a Living Kidney Donor? Begin the process by completing our Living Donor Screening form.
If you are a patient needing more information or a self-referral to Centura Transplant, please fill out our Centura Transplant Patient Self-Referral.
If you are a provider needing to refer a patient to Centura Transplant, please fill out our Centura Transplant Physician Referral Form.