How does kidney donation work?

During transplant surgery, a healthy kidney from a donor is placed in the body. The new donated kidney does the work that your two kidneys did. Donated kidney can come from a person you don't know who has recently died (deceased donor) or from a living person, a relative, spouse or friend. A kidney transplant is a surgical procedure to place a kidney from a living or deceased donor in a person whose kidneys no longer work properly.

Currently, 90,000 people in the United States are on the national waiting list for transplants for a donor kidney. So what are the basics of kidney donation? Keep reading for more information. The kidney donation process involves an operation to remove a kidney from the donor and another surgery to place the kidney in the transplant candidate. After donation, the donor's remaining kidney begins to work harder to compensate for the removed kidney.

The donor must undergo a checkup with a doctor every year to make sure that the remaining kidney is still working properly. Kidney transplant can treat advanced kidney disease and kidney failure, but surgery is not a cure. Some forms of kidney disease may recur after a transplant. Once the donor kidney is removed, it is rinsed with a preservation solution and packaged on ice.

The recipient is then taken to the operating room where he is placed. Since the mid to late 1990s, advances in surgical techniques have dramatically improved cosmetic outcome following live kidney donation. If you're healthy, donating a kidney won't increase your chances of getting sick or having major health problems. A kidney transplant is usually the treatment of choice for kidney failure, compared to lifelong dialysis treatment.

If you have two healthy kidneys, you may be able to donate one of your kidneys to improve or save someone else's life. If your living kidney donor is not compatible with you, the transplant center may offer you and your donor the opportunity to participate in the paired donation program. The International Living Donation Storytelling Project is a unique digital library of video stories, recorded by real people, sharing their experiences with living donors and kidney transplants. You should also meet with a psychologist and an independent living donor advocate to make sure you are mentally and emotionally prepared to donate one of your kidneys.

If you want to be a living donor, you will need to undergo a medical examination with blood tests to make sure you are healthy enough to donate a kidney. Once you have been matched with a living kidney donor, your kidney transplant procedure will be scheduled in advance. Both you and the recipient of the kidney (the person who received it) can live with only one healthy kidney. Finding a willing living kidney donor is an alternative to waiting for a compatible kidney from a deceased donor to be available.

Additional factors that the transplant team may consider in finding the donor kidney that is most suitable for you include age, kidney size, and exposure to infection coinciding. If it is determined that you are healthy and that your antibodies and blood type match those of the person receiving the kidney, you may be approved to donate the kidney. Sometimes the kidney is lost due to rejection, surgical complications, or the original disease that caused the recipient's kidney to fail. In laparoscopic surgery on a donor kidney, the surgeon makes small cuts in the donor's stomach and the kidney is removed through an incision large enough to fit.


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