About Living Donation
Being a Living Kidney Donor
Over 100,000 people are currently listed for kidney transplantation nationwide. About 10 percent of kidney candidates die each year while waiting. Living donation is when a living person (like you!) chooses to donate their organ to someone in need of a transplant. More than 6,000 organ transplants a year are made possible by living donors, with kidney being the most common organ transplanted.
Benefits of Being a Living Kidney Donor for Mommom (Terry):
A transplant can greatly improve the recipients’ health and quality of life. They get to spend more time with family and friends, resume work and physical activities, and pursue interests and hobbies they could not enjoy while ill. There are many benefits to living donation for both the donor, and the recipients.
The transplant can be scheduled for a time that's optimal for both YOU and Mommom (Terry.)
YOU only need one (1) kidney- to live a long and healthy life.
Your surgery would be done laparoscopically- through tiny incisions- and minimally invasive.
YOUR recuperation period is very quick- 2 weeks max.
The cost of testing, evaluations, surgery & post-op care will be covered by Mommom (Terry's) insurance.
If YOU ever need a kidney after donating one of yours, you'd go right to the TOP of the waiting list!
The gift of an organ can save Mommom (Terry's) life. The experience of providing this special gift can serve as the ultimate positive aspect of the donation.
STEP 1: START THE PROCESS
To start the process: You will contact the transplant center where Mommom (Terry) is listed. You MUST be in good overall physical/mental health & at least 18 old. Medical conditions that may prevent a living kidney donation may include: high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, hepatitis, or a psychiatric condition. The first step may include an initial screening & blood tests to determine if you are compatible with the intended recipient. If you are not compatible, there may be other options to donate. If you are a match, a nurse coordinator will contact you to continue the process. As you navigate the process, you will be assigned an independent living donor advocate (ILDA) who is not part of your recipient’s medical team. Your ILDA will assist you through the process, answer your questions & focus only on your well-being — physically, mentally & emotionally. All conversations with your ILDA are completely confidential; your recipient will never know the questions you ask or the concerns you have.
STEP 2: INFORMED CONSENT
If all of your screening tests come out satisfactory and it is determined that you are a good candidate to donate, you must still give your informed consent to donate. This process will help you understand all aspects of being a donor, including the risks and benefits. You’ll be encouraged to discuss this decision with loved ones. The final stage involves meeting with an independent assessor. These individuals are tasked with determining if you completely understand the implications and risks of the process and are making an informed decision. They also ensure you are not being bribed, paid or coerced into donating. Final approval for you to be a donor must come from the Human Tissue Authority (HTA) and could take several weeks.
STEP 3: DAY OF SURGERY
On the day of the surgery, you & Mommom (Terry) will be admitted to the hospital. Depending on the hospital protocol, you may receive IV fluids. You’ll be taken into surgery before Mommom & will receive anesthesia to put you to sleep. You’ll be connected to a breathing machine & a urinary catheter will be inserted into your bladder. You will have a laparoscopic (minimally invasive) surgery to remove the kidney. Laparoscopy involves a number of small incisions — usually three — in which operating instruments are inserted and a larger incision (about 4 cm) through which the kidney is removed. Once the kidney is removed it is sent to be prepared for transplantation into Mommom's body. You will be taken to a recovery room to wake up; you’ll feel groggy & possibly uncomfortable. You will be monitored closely to track your vital signs & to be given medication to control your pain.
STEP 4: AFTER THE SURGERY
You will be encouraged to get out of bed as soon as possible- usually the same day as your surgery. Walking is expected soon after. Gas pain & bloating is common, so walking helps to relieve this. You most likely will stay in the hospital for 1-2 days, depending on the type of surgery & how you are recovering. Upon release, you will continue your recovery at home. Recovery time varies, although many people are generally back to normal in about 2-6 weeks. You may not be able to drive for several weeks & will have lifting restrictions for at least 4 weeks. You’ll also probably feel tired, as your body recovers & your remaining kidney works to compensate for the loss of the other one. After the initial recovery period, you are required to follow up with the hospital at 6, 12 and 24 months. These “visits” may be remote, or simply having blood & urine tests completed at a lab close to your home. At these visits, you will have lab tests & a physical check-up.