What is involved in kidney transplant surgery?
will be given a
general anesthetic before your surgery. Until
recently, the removal of a kidney required an
8 in. (20.3 cm) to
9 in. (22.9 cm) incision on one
side of the body (flank). Now,
laparoscopy is usually used to remove the donor
kidney. Advantages of laparoscopic kidney removal include less pain, shorter
hospital stays, a more rapid return to normal activities, and a smaller, less
What are the risks of becoming a kidney donor?
Donating a kidney has not caused an increase in other health problems for
donors. Organ donors continue to be carefully studied by many research groups
in the United States. The risk of death following kidney donation is extremely
What limitations will I have after I have donated a kidney?
Donating a kidney will not cause any limitations in your
normal daily activities. After the recovery from your surgery, you will be able
to resume all of your normal activities, including exercising and participating
Donating a kidney will not affect your ability to
become pregnant, carry a child to term, or father a child.
Who pays my hospital costs?
In the United States,
your medical costs will be covered by the recipient's medical insurance. Most
insurance companies cover 100% of the medical costs of a transplant, including
pretransplant evaluations and lab tests. If the recipient does not have medical
insurance, your medical costs will be covered by Medicare.
For more information on becoming a
kidney donor, see:
- National Kidney Foundation at www.kidney.org.
- American Association of Kidney Patients (AAKP) at
- United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) at
www.donatelife.org or www.transplantliving.org.