What potential donors need to know about living kidney donation


Who can donate?

To be a successful kidney donor, a person must have no trace of kidney disease. They should also be free of any other health condition that may lead to a kidney issue later in life.

Why would someone be willing to donate their kidney?

The most common reason for donation is emotional attachment. The ties between families, and spouses, and other members of the family are amongst the top reasons why people are willing to help the one in need. However, with the increase in the knowledge spectrum, studies have increasingly shown that people are now interested in donating even in non-direct ways, i.e. who are unrelated. The doctors are able to convince and motivate healthy people to give or opt for organ donation and try making a change.

What is the biggest misconception about a kidney donation?

The biggest misconception is that most people think that to have a transplant the two people need to have a perfect match. Certainly, the outcomes of a kidney transplant in India is much better when the donor and the recipient are a perfect match, but the studies have shown that survival on dialysis is much lower than survival on a half-matched kidney transplant. Hence, it is really important to understand the no matter how non-related the transplant, it still increases the person’s chances of survival.

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What conditions disqualify a donor, such as diabetes?

Firstly, the doctors want to ensure that the donor is healthy enough to have the surgery resulting in no major complications. However, the doctors are also concerned about their future risk of a kidney complication. Diabetes, for instance, is the leading cause in people which leads to kidney issues. Over 40-50% of Americans have diabetes and are later diagnosed with some kidney ailment. Therefore, for someone to be a donor, they have to be clear of any diabetes in their body. Successful screening is done only when the person is free of serious co-morbidity.

Does hypertension play a role?

Hypertension can contribute to kidney disease, however, most people over the age of 50 years having controlled blood pressure are usually cleared to be successful donors. This is because it is a rather manageable condition and the people are able to cope up with it.

Is obesity considered a factor?

Being overweight is one of the leading epidemics in the world. Although researches have not been able to conclusively determine the link between obesity and kidney donation, doctors still advise the donors to limit their caloric intake. They are also advised to perform regular exercise. All these actions will help to keep the body weight in the normal range.

How is the health of the donor managed before the surgery?

Firstly, pre-screening is very thorough. It helps to rule out any surgical complications that might arise while the transplant. The donor is screened to be healthy enough to ensure that he is healthy enough to have a normal life after the transplant. Usually, the donors are told to keep a strict follow up with the transplant coordinators to maintain an outcome understanding of their health.

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Are there any short term side effects from donating a kidney?

There are potential complications following kidney donation. For instance, blood pressure can rise a bit after the donation process, studies have shown. Although there are no big-time worrisome complications that arise, there have been cases where people who donated their kidneys needed some dialysis later in their life.

Can a kidney donor become a candidate for kidney failure?

Unfortunately, some donors do lose their kidney’s function over time due to extra load. They might end up requiring dialysis over the next few years. In these cases, if they end up requiring a transplant for themselves, they are provided some extra points when being given a spot on the waiting list of the deceased kidney donors.

Are transplants from living donors always successful?

Although transplantation is highly successful some problems may occur. Sometimes, the kidney is rejected. There might be surgical complications or the original disease that the recipient had might encompass the new kidney also resulting in its failure.

How long does a transplanted kidney survive?

Broadly, a kidney from a living donor lasts will last about 15 to 20 years. Some might last longer, some might last lesser.

What are the health benefits of kidney donation for the donors?

Although taking someone’s organ out for donation seems like it will put their health to decline, but there are some positive points to a kidney donation. Firstly, the special bond that the donor and the patient share cannot be put into words. Secondly, studies have shown that people, once they were educated about the transplant resulted in a lot of health benefits. They often end up leaving habits that were causing them to harm otherwise. Such as excessive drinking, or smoking. Most people can also have a good diet in order to donate. They also end up keeping their body weight in a good range.

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