FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Who can be a living donor?
Any one over the age of 18 can be a living donor. In general the donor must be in good physical health. Certain medical problems that would make a potential donor ineligible would be a history of high blood pressure, diabetes,cancer, kidney or heart disease.
What is the donor evaluation process?
The first step is a question and answer screening of the potential donor by a Living Donor Coordinator to determine if the person meets the general health requirements for testing. If so, routine medical testing is scheduled to determine the potential donor's physical and mental health and compatibility with the donor recipient. Most testing can probably be done at local facilities but you should expect to be required to make at least one trip to the transplant facility for certain tests. The assessment schedule will be tailored as much as possible to your needs.
What is the cost to the donor?
Expenses for transplant evaluation, transplant surgery and post-operative follow-up care are paid by the donor recipient insurance. There should be no cost passed on to the donor for these services. Costs not covered by insurance would be travel expenses, lost wages, daily living expenses etc. Many facilities have programs available to help with these expenses. You should discuss any concerns you have with the donor coordinator.
Will this affect my ability to have children?
According to research, there is no reason to believe that donating a kidney will affect your ability to get pregnant or father a child.
Will I have to change my lifestyle after donating?
You should be able to lead a normal healthy life after donating.
How long will I be in the hospital?
This varies depending on the individual recovery. Most donors spend 1 to 3 days in the hospital to recover.
How much time will I be off work?
This varies depending on the surgery, recovery and type of work you will be resuming. Many people with a desk job are back to work in three weeks. If your job is physically demanding, you might need six weeks or more to resume all your prior activities.
What is the surgical procedure?
Laparoscopic surgery is the procedure of choice for removing a kidney from the donor.
Where can I find more general reference information?
The National Kidney Foundation
Living Kidney Donor Network