After leaving the hospital, the donor will normally feel tenderness, itching, and some pain as the incision continues to heal. Heavy lifting is usually not recommended for about six weeks after surgery. It is also recommended that donors avoid contact sports where the remaining kidney could be injured. It is important for the donor to talk to the transplant staff about the best ways to return to physical shape as soon as possible.
You should expect to go unnoticed for at least a month after donating. You may need 6 to 8 weeks to fully heal. During this time, you should not lift anything that weighs more than 10 pounds. You may not be able to drive or operate machinery if you are taking pain relievers that make you drowsy.
Most living kidney donors stay in hospital for zero to one day. Depending on what you do for work, you may return to work as soon as two weeks or as late as eight weeks after surgery. You should also not lift anything heavier than 10 pounds for the first six weeks after surgery. Before leaving the hospital, a follow-up clinical appointment will be scheduled, usually four to six weeks later.
The scars from the operation may be tender or sore for several weeks, and it is common to feel some numbness around the scar. There will be a permanent scar. There may also be twitching or a stretching sensation around the scars for a few months, but most people feel that they have returned to normal around 12 weeks after the operation. Unfortunately, you may feel significant pain after this surgery.
We'll give you painkillers, but you'll still be very uncomfortable for at least the first week. You will begin to feel less pain as the day goes on, but most donors say they feel significant discomfort for a week or two after surgery. Most pain relievers cause drowsiness, can affect breathing, and can cause nausea and constipation. We will try to get the right balance of painkillers so that you feel comfortable, but not sleepy, so you can do deep breathing, coughing and walking exercises.
You will be given a prescription for pain medication before you leave the hospital for pain control at home. A psychologist or counselor will almost always consult undirected kidney donors to discuss the reasons why they want to donate and the possible psychological impact on them. You will receive instructions on what to do the day before and the day of your kidney donation surgery. 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.
The donor kidney may fail in the recipient and cause feelings of regret, anger or resentment in the donor. After donating a kidney, a person may need up to 12 weeks off work to recover, although most donors have more or less returned to normal within six weeks. Once a potential recipient is chosen, blood will be drawn from you and the recipient to check that the recipient does not have antibodies that can react against the donor kidney. If you want to donate your own blood in case you need a transfusion, you must donate one unit of blood two to four weeks before surgery.
Since the mid to late 1990s, advances in surgical techniques have dramatically improved cosmetic outcome following live kidney donation. 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. These checks are designed to ensure that you are healthy enough to donate a kidney, that your kidneys are currently working well, and that you are physically and emotionally prepared for donation. Currently, the vast majority of kidney donation surgeries are performed using minimally invasive laparoscopic techniques and may include the use of robotic-assisted technology.
Specific long-term complications associated with living kidney donation include high blood pressure and elevated protein levels in the urine (proteinuria). The decision to donate a kidney is personal and deserves careful consideration and consideration of both the serious risks and the benefits. Most kidneys for transplant come from people who have died and whose families give permission for organ donation. Recovery from a kidney donation operation may take two to 12 weeks, depending on the individual progress of the person.