About Kidney Donation
Interested in being a living donor?
Nearly 100,000 people are on the waiting list for a kidney transplant. Many more people are waiting for a kidney than for all other organs combined. Unfortunately, the number of people waiting for kidneys is much larger than the number of available kidneys from living and deceased donors. You can save a life by being a kidney donor. (Source: American Kidney Fund)
If you have two healthy kidneys, you may be able to donate one of your kidneys to enhance or save someone else’s life. Both you and the recipient of your kidney (the person who got your kidney) can live with just one healthy kidney.
If you are interested in living kidney donation:
- Contact the transplant center where a transplant candidate is registered. Lainey is registered at UMass Transplant Unit.
- You will need to have an evaluation at the transplant center to make sure that you are a good match for the person you want to donate to and that you are healthy enough to donate.
- If you are a match, healthy, and willing to donate, you and the recipient can schedule the transplant at a time that works for both of you.
- If you are not a match for the intended recipient, but still want to donate your kidney so that the recipient you know can receive a kidney that is a match, paired kidney exchange may be an option for you.
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.
If you want to be a living donor, you will need to have a medical exam with blood tests to be sure you are healthy enough to donate a kidney. Some of the tests needed may include:
- Blood tests
- Urine tests
- Pap smear/ gynecological exam
- Colonoscopy (if over age 50)
- Screening tests for cancer
- Antibody test
- Electrocardiogram (EKG) which looks at your heart
- Other image testing like a CT scan
You are also required to meet with a psychologist and an Independent Living Donor Advocate to be sure you are mentally and emotionally ready to donate one of your kidneys.
If you are found to be healthy, and your antibodies and blood type are well-matched to the person getting your kidney, you may be approved to donate your kidney.
Most kidney transplant surgeries are done laparoscopically . A laparoscopic surgery is a new surgery method that uses very small cuts on the body and a thin lighted tube to look inside the body. In a laparoscopic kidney donor surgery, the surgeon makes small cuts on the donor’s stomach, and the kidney is removed through an incision just big enough for it to fit through. This operation takes 2-3 hours, and a kidney donor usually spends 1-3 days in the hospital recovering. The recovery period after laparoscopic surgery is much shorter than after a traditional open surgery. There are also fewer complications with laparoscopic surgery.
Before the use of laparoscopic surgery, the kidney was removed from a larger, open cut, causing a longer recovery period for the patient, compared to the laparoscopic method.
Alice wants to give a kidney to Andrew, but they’re not a good match. Bill wants to give a kidney to Betsy, but they’re also not a good match. However, Alice is a good match for Betsy and Bill is a good match for Andrew. So, Alice donates her kidney to Betsy, and Bill donates his kidney to Andrew. That way, everyone who needs a kidney gets one.
Paired kidney donation (or paired exchange) is an option when you have a relative or friend who is willing and able to be a kidney donor, but he or she is not a match for you. In a paired exchange, your relative or friend gives a kidney to someone who needs it, and that recipients’ relative or friend gives his or her kidney to you. Look at the picture on American Kidney Fund to understand how this works.
Talk to your transplant team if you are interested in participating in a paired exchange.
Incompatible kidney transplant
Certain transplant centers now offer incompatible kidney transplants, which are done when the donor kidney has a blood type or antibodies that do not match well (are incompatible with) the recipient’s (the person getting the kidney). Transplant doctors use special methods to make the recipient’s body less sensitive to the donor’s unmatched (incompatible) blood or antibodies. Talk to your doctor about whether this could be an option for you.
Polycystic kidney disease (PKD) is an inherited disorder in which clusters of cysts develop primarily within your kidneys, causing your kidneys to enlarge and lose function over time. Cysts are noncancerous round sacs containing fluid. The cysts vary in size, and they can grow very large. Having many cysts or large cysts can damage your kidneys.
Polycystic kidney disease can also cause cysts to develop in your liver and elsewhere in your body. The disease can cause serious complications, including high blood pressure and kidney failure.
PKD varies greatly in its severity, and some complications are preventable. Lifestyle changes and treatments might help reduce damage to your kidneys from complications.
minimum, but with all the new electronic devices, air conditioning and electric heat, I would suggest 200 amps especially in new homes. This also gives you some space for future additions. This is not a job for an unlicensed person to attempt. In most cases it involves replacing everything from the service loop (this is the wire that extends from the top of your meter to the utility tie in ) up to and including the main panel.
Source: Mayo Clinic