Donating your kidney to someone else may be one of the most altruistic decisions you will ever make. Though it is much easier to pinpoint the benefits of a kidney transplant for the recipient, donors also feel fulfilled after donating their kidneys. Due to a lack of awareness, people lack clarity about the donation process.
If you are considering donating your kidney, read on to know more about the process:
The Pre-Donation Process
1. There are certain criteria that you need to fulfill to be a kidney donor. These include:
- You should not have diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer, and heart conditions.
- Your blood type should be compatible with that of the donor
- You should be willing to donate the kidney voluntarily and not under pressure.
- You must be above 18 years of age
- You should not be a smoker and must be committed to taking care of your physical and mental health after the donation
2. If you wish to donate a kidney to a known person then you can contact their transplant team. However, if you wish to donate to an unknown individual then you should reach out to a nearby transplant center or hospital for further evaluation and registration.
3. Evaluation: Blood and urine tests will be conducted to check if you are healthy and can donate a kidney. Imaging tests like CT scans or X-rays will also be performed to see if you have healthy kidneys.
4. After you have been deemed fit enough for a kidney transplant, you will sit down with the transplant team. Here, you can talk to the team and ask any questions regarding the procedure.
There are certain questions you can ask your transplant doctor:
- How do I know if my kidney is compatible with the donor?
- Can donating my kidney shorten my lifespan?
- Do I need to follow a particular diet after the donation?
- What are the risks of the procedure?
- How long do I have to stay in the hospital?
The length of the kidney donation process is influenced by the number of tests that you will be required to undergo and how quickly you complete them. On average, it can take about six months for the donation work-up to be complete. Based on the results of the test, sometimes additional tests may also be required. Thus, this may stretch the process a bit for you.
Considerations Before the Procedure
Before you proceed with donating your kidney, you should consider the risks and other factors:
- Most kidney donation procedures are performed laparoscopically. Thus, the risks from such a procedure are minor.
- The transplant center or the hospital may assign you a contact person who will explain the procedure to you in-depth and what can you expect before and after the surgery.
- It is important that you check your insurance coverage in case you are detected with an illness during the screening test for the donation or develop a complication later on.
- If you wish to get pregnant, then you should talk to your doctor about the effect of the procedure on fertility.
- It is important to know that you will have to go for annual check-ups like blood pressure tests after the donation. It helps to ensure that your remaining kidney is working properly.
Avail Kidney Transplantation Across the World
If you wish to donate your kidney, it is important to get in touch with a transplant center that can help you in understanding the process of kidney donation. Many people feel deeply rewarded after donating. But, you should take the decision to donate after considering all possible risks and outcomes. It is important to remember that you can change your mind at any point in the process.