What Happens to You When You Donate a Kidney?

People can lead a normal life with only one kidney. As long as the donor is thoroughly evaluated and authorized for the donation, they will be able to lead a normal life afterwards. The remaining kidney will increase in size to compensate for the loss of the donated kidney. 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 the nephrectomy, you'll usually just spend the night in the hospital and complete recovery at home. Over time, the remaining kidney will enlarge as blood flow and waste filtration increases. By donating a kidney, you will lose some of your overall kidney function.

However, the kidney you still have will start working harder (about 30%) to compensate for it. It is recommended to have blood pressure checks and blood and urine tests every year at your annual checkup with your family doctor. If you have two healthy kidneys, you may be able to donate one of them to a person with kidney failure. If you have kidney failure, having a kidney transplant may mean a longer, healthier life without dialysis.

Learn more about kidney donation and transplant. 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 organ. In general, most people with only one normal kidney have few or no problems; however, you should always talk to your transplant team about the risks involved in donating. You may also want to discuss living kidney donation with people you trust, such as family and friends.

Like any surgery, kidney donation carries the risk of surgical complications, such as blood clots and others, but these risks are low. Talk to your transplant team about any pre-existing conditions or other factors that may put you at increased risk of developing kidney disease, and consider them carefully before making a donation decision. If you're healthy, donating a kidney won't increase your chances of getting sick or having major health problems. 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.

A living donor is a healthy person who has undergone extensive testing and agrees to donate a healthy kidney to a patient with ESRD. In general, kidney donation has minimal long-term risks, especially when compared to the health risks of the general population. In addition, you will be checked carefully to make sure you don't have any health problems that could worsen with a kidney donation.There have been some cases where living donors needed a kidney later, not necessarily because of the donation itself. The motivations of each donor can vary greatly, and each donor has a unique experience as they progress through the process of donating their kidney, from the initial decision to be evaluated as a potential donor to years after the donation occurs.

Living donation does not change life expectancy and does not appear to increase the risk of kidney failure. Pregnancy after donation is possible, but is usually not recommended for at least six months after donation surgery.If the donor evaluation team decides that you are healthy and that you are compatible with the recipient of the organ, you may be approved to donate the kidney. Since the mid-to-late 1990s, advances in surgical techniques have dramatically improved cosmetic outcome following live kidney donation.

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