Q: What do I have to do to become a living donor?
A: There is a thorough medical and psychosocial evaluation to make sure that the donor is healthy.
Q: How do I start an evaluation to be a living donor?
A: Complete the living donor questionnaire.
Q: Can a living donor only donate to a family member?
A: A living donor can donate to any person who is a match. Donors and recipients can participate in a donor exchange to find the best match.
Q: What is a donor exchange?
A: A donor will donate their kidney to another recipient, while their paired recipient will receive a kidney from a different donor (often getting a better matched kidney).
Q: How long will I stay in the hospital?
A: For 24-48 hours after surgery.
Q: When will I be able to go back to work?
A: After 2-6 weeks, depending on the type of work you do.
Q: What are the advantages of living donation?
A: It significantly reduces the time the recipient waits for a transplant and provides better outcomes for the recipient.
Q: Are there risks to the donor with living donation?
A: There are always risks involved in surgery, including infections, blood clots, pain or hernias. The Independent Living Donor Advocate and the transplant team will cover all risks related to donation.
Q: What are the alternatives for the recipient if they do not have a living donor?
A: Deceased donor transplantation or receiving dialysis.
Q: Who is the independent living donor advocate?
A: ILDA promotes the best interests of the donor, advocates for the potential donor’s rights and ensures that your decision to donate is your own and made without pressure from others. The ILDA will help you to understand and navigate:
- The consent process
- The pre-donation medical and psychological evaluation
- The surgical procedure
- The benefit and need for long-term follow-up
Q: Can I change my mind about being a donor?
A: You have the right to opt out of donation at any time up until the surgery. The reason for the decision to not proceed with donation will not be disclosed to the recipient or others without your consent.
For more information, please contact our living donor transplant coordinator at (312) 947-GIFT (4438). Or fill out a living donor questionnaire to determine if you are eligible to be a living kidney donor.