What Is the Kidney Donation Process?


Quick Answer

Living kidney donors who decide to donate go through screening, as well as pre-surgery and post-surgery evaluations. Donating a kidney to a friend or family member relies upon compatibility of the donor and the recipient, but medical advancements make it possible to donate anonymously, as well, according to the National Kidney Foundation.

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Full Answer

Kidney transplant recipients start the process by undergoing evaluations determining if they are eligible for the surgery. Sometimes, the transplant center concludes that the kidney transplant is not beneficial to the donor and decline performing the procedure. Even if the center confirms the recipient eligibility, the course of medical treatment is ultimately the decision of the recipient, states the National Kidney Foundation.

Extensive pre-surgery screening includes undergoing urine, blood and radiological testing. Pre-surgery evaluation checks the medical condition of donor and recipient and viability of the kidney. Further testing determines the chances of the recipient’s body rejecting the new kidney by matching the tissue types. Additionally, a psychological evaluation and full physical examination of the donor assesses the capability of recovery. After the transplant team receives these results, they decide whether surgery is beneficial to the recipient. However, recipients have the right to decline a transplant, decline using a certain donor and request a deceased donor, reports the National Kidney Foundation.

Before and after surgery, both donor and recipient should keep all appointments and stay as active as possible. Movement reduces chances of complications from this major surgery, such as blood clot formation and pneumonia, states the National Kidney Foundation.

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