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If you or your loved one is in need of a kidney transplant, instead of being placed on a waiting list for a deceased donor kidney, he or she can schedule the transplant when it is necessary and convenient.
Living donor kidney transplants are more successful than deceased donor kidney transplants. The living donor is likely to be a better match, and the kidney typically functions immediately after transplant. In comparison, deceased donor kidneys could take several days or weeks to function properly.
What if I’m not a close relative, can I still be a donor?
Yes, a living unrelated donor is someone who has emotionalties to the recipient, such as a close friend or a spouse.
What makes a good donor?
The donor will be evaluated very similar to the evaluation for the recipient. This is a very thorough medical and psychological evaluation. The results of the living donor’s medical evaluation will be presented to Transplant Committee. The Transplant Committee will then either approve or disapprove the living donor as a candidate for donation of the kidney.
What would prevent someone from being a donor?
What if I am not compatible with my intended recipient? Are there other options?
You and your recipient may be eligible for the Paired Kidney Donor Program. This program allows you to donate to another recipient who was not compatible with their donor and then their donor would donate to your recipient.
If you are interested in the option, please discuss it with your Transplant Coordinator. You may also obtain information at the website for the Alliance for Paired Donation.
What does the operation involve?
After a series of tests are completed, the donor and transplant operations are scheduled. For surgery, the donor and recipient are usually in adjacent operating rooms. The kidney is removed from the donor and transplanted into the recipient. Most donor surgeries are done laparoscopically (4 small incisions) which will require a 2 to 3 day hospital stay. On rare occasions, the donor surgery may require one large incision which will require a 5 to 7 day hospital stay. The donor will visit the doctor’s office or clinic to make sure that recovery is proceeding as expected. As with any surgery, risks are involved. More information about the surgery and what it involves is available from the donor’s doctor.
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