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Does Donating A Kidney Shorten Your Life

Risks And Benefits Of Living Kidney Donation

Becky: A Living Kidney Donor Story

People who are considering becoming a kidney donor must carefully weigh the potential risks and benefits of donating a kidney.

Although the surgery itself is often a major component of this decision, other factors such as medical risks, the cosmetic result, and socioeconomic factors also play an important role in the decision-making process, as described in detail in this section.

How Much Can I Make Selling My Eggs

Compensation can vary quite a bit, depending on where you donate your eggs. Usually, egg donors are usually paid between $5000 and $10,000 per cycle. At Bright Expectations, we offer our egg donors a compensation package that is a bit higher than the average, which includes: A payment of $8000 to $10,000 per cycle.

Your Blood And Tissue Type Must Be Compatible With Your Recipients

Besides being healthy, living donors must have compatible blood and tissue types with the kidney recipient. The transplant team will perform tests to see if your blood and tissues are compatible with the kidney recipient. If they arent, our living donor program can also educate you about the paired donation program.

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What Is The Recovery Period And When Can The Donor Return To Normal Activities

The length of stay in the hospital will vary depending on the individual donor’s rate of recovery and the type of procedure performed although the usual stay is 4 to 6 days. Since the rate of recovery varies greatly among individuals, be sure to ask the transplant center for their estimate of your particular recovery time.

After leaving the hospital, the donor will typically feel tenderness, itching and some pain as the incision continues to heal. Generally, heavy lifting is not recommended for about six weeks following surgery. It is also recommended that donors avoid contact sports where the remaining kidney could be injured. It is important for the donor to speak with the transplant staff about the best ways to return as quickly as possible to being physically fit.

What Tests Do I Need During The Evaluation Process

Live Right. Do Right.

During your evaluation, the transplant team will complete urine and blood tests to assess your kidney function, blood chemistries, blood cell counts, liver function and exposures to infections such as Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, HIV and tuberculosis. An electrocardiogram needs to be performed to assess the heart. Chest X-ray and abdominal CT scan are the required imaging studies. Other tests such as heart exercise test and cancer screening might be required.

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Can I Continue Working

If youâre well enough, you can keep working for as long as you feel able.

Talk to your employer as soon as you feel your condition is affecting your ability to do your job so you can find a solution that suits both of you. For example, it may be possible for you to work part-time.

The Disability Discrimination Act 1995 requires employers to make reasonable adjustments to help a person with a disability.

This might, where possible, include changing or modifying tasks, altering work patterns, installing special equipment, allowing time off to attend appointments, or helping with travel to work.

What If More Than One Person Offers To Donate

Blood testing will begin with only three donors, to determine compatibility with the recipient. If you have more than three people who are willing to donate, they may contact the donor department to discuss their options. Once compatibility tests have been completed the recipient and donors must discuss which donor he/she will proceed with. The donor coordinator can help families decide which donor may be best for them.

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What Tests Will I Have To Get If I Want To Donate A Kidney

We put potential donors through a battery of testing. Some of the younger donors who come in have never even seen a primary care doctor before, so it can be a shock!

First, we contact potential donors who pass the online application so we can review their medication and surgery history. If these look acceptable, we ask them to have some lab work done. We request lab work before potential donors travel to see us for two reasons: Its easier, and it saves time and money in travel. The lab work will include blood and urine testing to examine kidney function, blood counts, and urological health, as well as to screen for additional medical issues.

Many donors want to know who covers the cost for all this testing. The recipients insurance should cover the donors medical expenses, including evaluation, surgery, and limited follow-up appointments and tests. The donor might have to pay for follow-up services if medical problems arise from the donation. Be aware that the donors insurance also might not cover these expenses. Keep in mind, too, that the recipients insurance typically doesnt cover lodging, transportation, lost wages, or childcare. Financial questions and concerns should be directed to the transplant center social worker. Help also can be accessed through the National Living Donor Assistance Center.

How Long Do Kidney Transplants Last

What it’s like to be a living kidney donor

There are a number of factors which affect how long a transplanted kidney lasts.

These include whether or not the kidney came from a living donor, how well the kidney is matched in terms of blood group and tissue type, and the age and overall health of the person receiving the donation.

If you have a kidney transplant that fails, you can usually be put on the waiting list for another transplant. You may need dialysis in the meantime.

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Can Kidney Disease Be Prevented

Seeing your healthcare provider on a regular basis throughout your life is a good start for preventing kidney disease. About one in every three people in the United States is at risk for kidney disease. Identify and manage any risk factors for developing kidney disease.

  • Control your high blood pressure. Normal blood pressure is 120/80.
  • Control your blood sugar if you have diabetes.
  • Eat a healthy diet. Follow a low-fat, low-salt diet.
  • Dont smoke.
  • Be active for 30 minutes at least five days a week.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Take nonprescription pain relievers only as directed. Taking more than directed can damage your kidneys.

Get The Facts About Kidney Donation

Every year, thousands of living donors donate a healthy kidney to a person who has kidney disease, saving them from years of waiting for a kidney from a deceased donor, going through dialysis and complications associated with kidney failure.

Although living kidney donation is becoming more commona record 6,860 living donors donated a kidney in 2019some people may hesitate to become a living donor because they have heard incorrect information about the kidney donation process.

Here are some of the questions people ask about living kidney donation, and the facts as explained by Marian Charlton, RN, CCTC, who is the chief clinical transplant coordinator at Hackensack Meridian Health.

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Seniors Can Be Organ Donors

Are you a senior considering donating a live kidney to someone in need? You’re not alone. The United Network for Organ Sharing reports 96 people, age 65 and older were living kidney donors in the U.S. in 2011.

The data from existing research on whether seniors should be living kidney donors is promising but also contradictory, and, as the researchers point out, insufficient to draw a definitive conclusion at this time.

A study published in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology compared two groups of kidney recipients. One group received a kidney from live donors age 70 or older and their survival rate after five years was 74.5 percent. The other group received an organ from younger donors and had an 83 percent survival rate over the same time period.

An analysis of 12 clinical studies published in the American Journal of Transplantation also found higher five-year mortality rates for older-donor recipients. Additionally, the date showed older organs were more likely to fail during that same 5-year period.

In contrast, a set of researchers from New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center found survival rates for patients receiving a live kidney from a donor 60 years old or older were equal to those receiving a younger organ.

Older adults considering donating a live kidney should keep in mind that the majority of transplant centers don’t currently accept organs from seniors 70 years old or older.

How Do I Know If My Kidney Is A Match For The Recipient

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The transplant team will check your blood type as well as the recipient blood type to see if they are compatible. A unique blood test also needs to be done which is called crossmatch.

It is possible that the recipient of the kidney has an allergy to the donated kidney so the recipient’s body may reject the donated kidney. Such allergy is due to some substances called antibodies which are present in the recipient’s blood. In order to make sure that the recipient does NOT have those antibodies against your kidney tissue, the crossmatch test is performed. Briefly, a sample of your blood is combined with a sample of the recipient’s blood. If the recipient has antibodies to the donor, this will cause a “positive” reactivity during the crossmatch test. This may mean your recipient is incompatible to you. In the case that you and your recipient are not compatible, you may participate in UCLA’s Kidney Exchange Program. This program allows the recipient and donor to enter a paired exchange registry, where the donor will donate to another recipient that is matched, and the recipient will recieve a matched kidney from a compatible donor in return.

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Legal Issues Related To Payment For Donation

The National Organ Transplantation Act of 1984 specifically prohibits the exchange of “valuable consideration” for a human organ .

Therefore, it is illegal to sell organs if this occurs, it is punishable by fines, imprisonment, or both.

However, the payment of “the expenses of travel, housing, and lost wages incurred by the donor of a human organ in connection with the donation of the organ” is expressly permitted by section 301 of NOTA.

Learn more about the National Organ Transplantation Act .

How Do Health Care Professionals Diagnose A Solitary Kidney

During pregnancy, a health care professional can diagnose kidney agenesis and kidney dysplasia while conducting a prenatal ultrasound. Ultrasound uses a device, called a transducer, that bounces safe, painless sound waves off the fetuss organs to create an image of their structure. Ultrasounds during pregnancy are part of routine prenatal testing.

If a fetus is diagnosed with kidney agenesis or kidney dysplasia, health care professionals may recommend additional ultrasounds before and after the birth to find out how the solitary kidney functions over time and to check for other health problems.

In an adult, health care professionals may diagnose a solitary kidney during an x-ray, ultrasound, or surgery for some other condition or injury.

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Reasons For Having One Kidney

Again, most people are born with two working kidneys.But sometimes, just one kidney works. And some people are born with only one kidney.

The reasons for this may vary and can include:

  • Renal agenesis a condition where someone is born with only one kidney.
  • Kidney dysplasia a condition where someone is born with two kidneys but only one of them works.
  • Kidney removal certain diseases may require you to actually have one of your kidneys removed.
  • Living-donor kidney transplant you can donate one of your kidneys to a person who needs a kidney transplant.

Giving The Gift Of Life

Donating a Kidney | Kidney Transplant Surgery

By becoming a live donor, you shorten the time a recipient spends on the kidney transplant waiting list . You also increase the likelihood of successful transplantation because survival rates are higher when the kidney transplant comes from a live donor. Additionally, you help another wait-listed patient because your donation vacates the recipients spot on the list for the next person when a deceased donors kidney becomes available.

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A Potential To Save Thousands Of Lives

This discomfort with donation has a powerful impact. A hundred thousand Americans are waiting for kidney transplants alone as many as 80,000 more, mostly people of color, are eligible for a transplant but never make it onto lists. Kidney donation is a laparoscopic procedure that is, minimally invasive with a typical hospital stay of two nights. The risk of death during surgery is lower than for having a C-section.

If just one in 10,000 people donated each year, there wouldnt be a shortage. That would be one of the great public health achievements of the 21st century: More people in the US die from that shortage each year than all American deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan this century. Each transplant saves the government about $150,000, so whats preventing us from ending the shortage is more a lack of willpower and awareness than a lack of options.

How Painful Is Donating A Kidney

Most kidney donors recover in the hospital for 2 to 5 days before they head home. Youll probably still have some discomfort for the next week or two, but youll get a prescription for pain medication to keep you comfortable. Full recovery takes time. You should expect to lay low for at least a month after you donate.

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Why You Might Need A Lung Removed

Lung cancer is the most common reason. Usually itâs cancer that starts in the lungs, but it could also happen when tumors spread there from another part of your body.

Not everyone with lung cancer will need to have a lung removed. It may be an option for people with tumors that are especially large or grow near the center of the lung.

Other health problems that may need treatment with a pneumonectomy include:

  • Serious injury to your lung
  • Fungal infection in your lung
  • Bronchiectasis, when the walls of your airways get thick and scarred

Does Living Donation Affect Life Expectancy


Living donation does not change life expectancy, and does not appear to increase the risk of kidney failure. In general, most people with a single normal kidney have few or no problems however, you should always talk to your transplant team about the risks involved in donation. Some studies report that living donors may have a greater chance of developing high blood pressure. It is recommended that potential donors consult with their doctor about the risks of living donation.

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Uncertainty And Sensitivity Analyses

We assumed that many future risks that can impact on life expectancy and ESRD such as cancer, obesity, smoking and so on were not influenced by the act of kidney donation. The lifetime estimates of ESRD were found to be higher in non-donors than published estimates, in part since this model incorporated the possibility that some participants could develop diabetes mellitus and proteinuria. In a sensitivity analysis a lower risk ideal cohort was examined. These ideal non-donors were assigned lower incidence rates of diabetes mellitus, proteinuria and rates of transition to CKD to match projected lifetime ESRD risks rather than calibrating to 15-year ESRD risks. Non-donors were assumed to have lifetime cumulative ESRD risks of 0.43% , 0.29% , 1.00% and 0.85% for white male, white female, black male and black female, respectively. To evaluate a more conservative and more liberal estimate of remaining life years, lost life years postdonation, remaining QALYs and lost QALYS postdonation, we used higher and lower transition rates from normal to CKD states that correspond to the upper and lower bound of the 95% CI of the projected cumulative risk of ESRD from a study by Grams et al.

What Can I Expect Emotionally After Donating A Kidney

After donation, living donors often report a wide range of mixed emotions, from joy and relief to anxiety to depression. The process of getting through the evaluation and surgery can be so time-consuming that donors do not always have time to process everything they are feeling. It is normal for these emotions to come to the forefront after the donation and transplant take place.

Living donors generally rate their experience as positive. Different studies indicate that between 80-97% of donors say that in retrospect, they would have still have made the decision to donate.

However, concerns about the recipient’s outcome can contribute to feelings of anxiety, and may donors report a feeling of “let down” afterwards. Feelings of depression among living donors are not uncommon, even when both donor and recipient are doing well.

While extensive data on these issues is lacking, some studies have reported the following psychological outcomes:

  • Less than 1% regretted the decision
  • 3 to 10% reported depression
  • 10% reported “family conflicts”
  • 16% concerned about negative financial consequences of donation
  • 3 to 15% concerned about a negative impact on their health

Living donors who are struggling with these issues are encouraged to:

  • Talk to the transplant hospital’s Transplant Social Worker for advice
  • Seek professional counseling or other outside help to manage difficult emotions, and
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    What Is A Kidney Transplant

    Kidneys are vital organs that filter blood to remove waste, extra fluid, and salt from the body. If they stop working, itâs called kidney failure. Someone with kidney failure must go on or get a kidney transplant.

    A kidney transplant is an operation where doctors put a new kidney in the body of someone whose own kidneys no longer work. One healthy kidney will do the work of two failed kidneys.

    Because people can survive with just one kidney, a living person can give a healthy kidney to someone with kidney failure. This is called being a donor. A kidney also can come from a donor who has recently died, but the wait for this kind of donated kidney can take a year or more.

    Most kidney transplants are successful. People who have kidney transplants will take medicines for the rest of their lives to prevent the body from rejecting the kidney. Rejecting means that the bodyâs immune cells destroy the new kidney because they sense that itâs foreign.

    But aside from that, many kids and teens who have kidney transplants go on to live normal, healthy lives after they recover from surgery.

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