The kidney transplant process for donors
It takes a special person to serve as a kidney donor for a family member or friend.
Please note that, while the recipient can provide us with the name or names of potential donors, it is up to you as a donor candidate to contact us to begin the process.
- The first step is to determine whether you are a compatible donor. Early in the process a social worker meets with you to provide education and orientation and to discuss issues such as your support system.
- Next comes a visit with a transplant nephrologist (kidney doctor specializing in transplant) to identify the appropriate laboratory and diagnostic tests.
- You will undergo a thorough evaluation to determine compatibility and ensure your safety. If the evaluation finds you to be an incompatible donor there are still options available for donation, such as paired or chain transplantation.
- If you are a compatible donor and the transplant team is in agreement, surgery is scheduled.
Surgery for the donor occurs on the same day as the transplant surgery, often using a minimally invasive technique that requires smaller incisions and less recovery time. Occasionally the surgeons opt for a more traditional open-incision technique for anatomical or other reasons.
Donors often go home after three to five days, with one surgical follow-up appointment. Most donors go on to live a healthy, relatively unchanged life with one kidney.