About Living Donation
Living donation, when someone chooses to donate one of their kidneys, is an important option to consider for patients who need a kidney transplant.
There are several advantages to receiving a kidney from a living donor.
There is no need to wait for a deceased donor kidney to become available (most living transplants take place three months after the evaluation process begins).
The kidney usually begins to work immediately, even in the operating room.
There are fewer episodes of rejection. As a result, living donor kidneys tend to last longer. Living donor kidneys tend to last an average of 20+ years, while deceased donor kidneys last an average of 11–13 years.
There is a need for fewer immunosuppressive drugs for the recipient, which therefore minimizes the possible side effects.
Living donor transplants can be scheduled. This allows both the donor and the recipient to plan for absences from work and family responsibilities.
Living donation is a safe procedure for the donors. Most people can live a long and healthy life with one kidney. At PinnacleHealth our donors are screened and tested thoroughly before donation to ensure that removing a kidney will not affect their health in any way. It is our policy that we DO NOT put our living donors at risk for health problems either now or in the future.
Donor Medical Expenses
Donors are not responsible for any expenses related to the testing, surgery or hospitalization for living donation.
Independent Donor Advocate
The Independent Donor Advocate (IDA) is a social worker that is separate from the transplant center. The IDA is trained to be an independent and specialized advocate for the living donors. The IDA’s role is to make sure the living donors understand the donation process, have had their questions answered, and get the specialized support and consideration they deserve. As a potential living donor, any questions or concerns you have about care you receive from the transplant team may be directed to the IDA.
Kidney Function After Surgery
Immediately after donation the donor's kidney function is temporarily reduced by half until the remaining kidney compensates for the missing kidney. This takes approximately 2-4 weeks. After the initial phase of recovery, the donor’s kidney function will be 60-80% of function prior to donation, which is more than adequate to support the donor’s needs.
For more information, click to view the Living Donor Education Manual