There is no doubt that being a living donor is a huge benefit to the recipient (the person who gets your kidney). Recipients of a living donor kidney usually live longer, healthier lives compared to those who receive a deceased donor kidney (a kidney from someone who has just died). It is important to recognize there can be benefits to the donor, as well. Some of these are:
- Saving the life of another person
- Giving a renewed, and improved quality of life to another person
- Greater understanding of your own health or health conditions
As a kidney donor, your risk of having kidney failure later in your life is not any higher than it is for someone in the general population of a similar age, sex or race.
On average, donors have 25-35% permanent loss of kidney function after surgery.
It is important to recognize that there are risks with any type of surgery, which the transplant team will explain to you in detail. Some of these include:
- Pain, feeling tired, hernia, blood clots, pneumonia, nerve injury, bowel obstruction
Some people who donate an organ may experience anxiety, depression, or fear after the surgery. Financial stress can also come as a result of donation, as you may need to take time off from work. Talk to the transplant team during the evaluation process to find ways to manage these stresses.