How To Donate a Kidney

How To Donate a Kidney

Living Kidney Donation

 

how to donate a kidneyHave you ever wondered how to donate a kidney? A Living kidney donation happens when a living individual decides to donate one of his organs to an ill person. It can be someone he is closely related with or someone he doesn’t personally know. If you are planning on being a kidney donor, here are some of the things you need to know:

General Health

To be approved for donation, you must have no existing renal issues. You shouldn’t also have any heart problems, cancer or diabetes. Initially, you will be asked to answer a set of questionnaire about your overall health. Series of tests will also be carried out, including:

  • Blood test for type, cross matching and antigen
  • X-ray and other radiologic tests
  • Urine analysis
  • EKG
  • Kidney function tests
  • Gynecological exams for female donors
  • Cancer screening tests
  • Additional blood tests for Hepatitis, HIV and virus exposures

Psychological assessments will also need to be carried out to ensure your capability to process information and to decide for yourself. This will also be the best opportunity for the transplant team to determine whether you have been forced to donate your kidneys or not.

Education

Prior to the actual date of surgery, you will have to attend an education session where you’ll be given a complete overview about how the surgery will take place. During this period, you’ll be given information about what will happen before, during and after surgery. This will also be the time where you’ll be informed about the possible risks and complications.

Aside from these information, your coordinator will also discuss with you the financial aspect of donating your kidneys. Typically, it is the transplant center and the recipient’s insurance that will cover all medical expenses, from surgery to follow up.

Expectations

As pain is expected after surgery, your doctor will order analgesics to control any discomforts. You will be given either a patient controlled analgesia or receive in through an epidural line. Around 12 to 24 hours, you will be encouraged to begin walking and to perform self care. Once you are able to perform these activities, your doctor will order the removal of your foley catheter.

Once full recovery is achieved and you are sent home, you can resume your normal routine gradually. If you work in an office with minimal physical stress, you can return to work at around 10 to 14 days after your surgery. If you are planning on having a baby, it’s best if you can wait for your doctor’s clearance first. High-impact contact sports should be avoided as much as possible to avoid harming your remaining organ. To ensure that you and your kidney remain in top shape, it’s recommended that you return for routine follow ups.

If you are considering being a kidney donor, you may well save someone’s life.  Learning how to donate a kidney is the easy part, but wanting to do this is a soul searching adventure.