Living Donor Info

Living donation is the process of an individual donating one of their healthy kidneys to a family member or close personal friend.

This type of donation provides a viable alternative for a patient awaiting a kidney transplant.  The donor can expect to live a long, healthy life with just one remaining kidney, which will grow in size to compensate.

In order to qualify as a living donor, an individual must be in good general health and free from high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, kidney disease and heart disease. As with the transplant patient, a living donor must also undergo certain tests and evaluations to determine if they are suitable as a donor. These tests include:

    • history and physical
    • blood and tissue typing
    • X-rays
    • specific laboratory blood tests
    • hepatitis and HIV screening
    • EKG and other possible heart and lung tests
    • arteriogram
    • psychiatric and/or psychosocial evaluations
    • crossmatching: This blood test is done prior to transplantation to determine if the potential recipient’s blood will react to the donor’s blood. If the crossmatch is “positive” there is a high probability of rejection of the donor kidney and transplantation cannot be performed.
    • antibody screening
    • psychiatric and/or psychosocial evaluations
      As with any major operation, there are risks involved in donating an organ. Most patients will experience some pain and discomfort following surgery. Recuperation is determined by which living donor procedure is performed:

There are many positive aspects of living donation.  It signicantly decreases the waiting time for the recipient, and surgery can be scheduled at a mutually agreed upon time. Transplants from living donors are often more successful because there is a lower ischemia time, meaning that the organ is out of the body for a shorter time.

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