Is kidney donation dangerous?

Like any surgery, the procedure has some risks. But in general, living kidney donation is safe. In most cases, donating a kidney will not increase the risk of kidney disease, diabetes, or other health problems. Kidney donation involves major surgery and there are risks, such as bleeding and infection.

But the overwhelming majority of kidney donors recover with minimal complications. After your kidney is removed (nephrectomy), you'll usually just spend the night in the hospital and complete your recovery at home. Over time, the remaining kidney will enlarge as blood flow and waste filtration increase. For a person who needs a kidney transplant, asking a loved one or a friend is an important request.

Similarly, it's a great gift when a donor agrees. Living kidney donation can be a truly beautiful and bonding experience. And living kidney donation is incredibly safe for donors: less than 1 percent of donors will end up on dialysis in the future, which is only slightly higher than the average risk of a person with two healthy kidneys. Surgery to donate a kidney has the same risks and side effects that are common with any major surgery.

Side effects may include nausea, vomiting, and constipation. Many people feel some numbness around the incision. Most complications don't happen very often, and most are treatable. Each year, 4,500 people die on the kidney transplant waiting list, according to data from the Living Kidney Donor Network.

Reese said that living kidney donors can do much to minimize their short- and long-term health risks after donation. A living donor is a healthy person who has undergone extensive testing and agrees to donate a healthy kidney to a patient with ESRD. The National Kidney Foundation (NKF) is the largest, most comprehensive and oldest organization dedicated to the awareness, prevention and treatment of kidney disease. Living kidney donation cannot happen without a team of diverse specialists who are as passionate about the program as they are about patient care.

In addition, you will be checked carefully to make sure you don't have any health problems that could worsen with a kidney donation. It may take three to five years for a person on the kidney transplant waiting list to receive a kidney from a deceased donor. The motivations of each donor can vary greatly and each donor has a unique experience as they go through the process of donating their kidney, from the initial decision to be evaluated as a potential donor to years after the donation occurs. Since the mid to late 1990s, advances in surgical techniques have dramatically improved cosmetic outcome following live kidney donation.

To date, she's been eight months post-op and has returned to her normal routine while serving as a wonderful advocate for live kidney donation. Due in part to new surgical techniques that have shortened recovery times, live kidney donation has become more common in recent years. Let's review some of the frequently asked questions, as well as the risk factors and benefits of living kidney donation. In general, kidney donation has minimal long-term risks, especially when compared to the health risks of the general population.

If there is a high risk that a potential donor will develop kidney problems later in life, giving up a kidney today is not a healthy option.

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