To donate a kidney, you must be in good physical and mental health. As a rule, you must be 18 years of age or older, you must also have normal kidney function. If you have two healthy kidneys, you may be able to donate one of your kidneys 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 transplantation. In most cases, a person who receives a transplant receives only 1 kidney. Rarely, you may receive 2 kidneys from a deceased donor. Usually, diseased kidneys are left in place.
The transplanted kidney is placed in the lower abdomen, in the front of the body. People considering becoming a kidney donor should carefully weigh the potential risks and benefits of donating a kidney. Since the mid to late 1990s, advances in surgical techniques have dramatically improved cosmetic outcome following live kidney donation. 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.
The donor kidney may fail in the recipient and cause feelings of regret, anger, or resentment in the donor. 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. 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.
On average, a kidney from a living donor can function between 12 and 20 years, and a kidney from a deceased donor can improve quality of life for 8 to 12 years. Donor nephrectomy is a surgical procedure to remove a healthy kidney from a living donor for transplant into a person whose kidneys are no longer working properly. If you have two healthy kidneys, you may be able to donate one of your kidneys to improve or save someone else's life. Causes of kidney failure may include diabetes, polycystic kidney disease (PKD), chronic uncontrolled high blood pressure (hypertension), or chronic glomerulonephritis (inflammation and possible scarring of the glomeruli that tiny filters inside the kidneys).
You will receive instructions on what to do the day before and the day of your kidney donation surgery. As a kidney donor, the risk of developing kidney failure later in life is no greater than that of a person in the general population of similar age, sex, or race. 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. 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.
Donating a kidney or any other organ can also cause mental health problems, such as symptoms of anxiety and depression. People with end-stage renal disease, also called end-stage renal disease, need to have waste removed from the bloodstream using a machine (hemodialysis) or through a blood filter procedure (peritoneal dialysis) or through a kidney transplant.