Living donor kidney transplantation may be an option for you if you have someone who is willing to donate a kidney. While most individuals have two kidneys, a person can lead a normal life with one healthy kidney. Donating a kidney to someone in need of a kidney transplant can make a tremendous difference in his or her life. Patients in renal failure can undergo a kidney transplant much sooner with a living donor than by waiting on the national waiting list. On average, a kidney from a living donor has the potential to last about 15 to 20 years, almost twice as long as a kidney from a deceased donor.
Our transplant surgeons are skilled in minimally invasive living donor surgeries. Friends, family members or, in some cases, an anonymous or altruistic donor can donate a kidney. If your willing donor is a match, a transplant surgery can be scheduled and eliminate the need to wait on the waiting list.
Who Can Donate
Healthy individuals between the ages of 18-60 can be considered for living donation. The living donor must be in good health and have a normal weight to promote healthy healing after surgery.
Want to Become a Living Organ Donor?
Complete the Living Donor Online Form to begin the evaluation process.Living Donor Online Form
What to Expect
The potential donor will meet with a surgeon and a transplant nephrologist, as well as other members of our multidisciplinary team including a social worker, financial case manager, nurse coordinator and an independent living donor advocate. A thorough medical evaluation will be completed with diagnostic testing such as a CT scan, MRI, chest X-ray, EKG and ECHO. The donor may also be required to have a colonoscopy, pap smear and mammogram depending on age and gender. Once the tests are complete, our team will discuss all results from the evaluation in our kidney selection committee meeting. If approved as a living donor, a surgery date can be scheduled for transplantation.
In some situations, a donor may not be the most compatible match for the recipient. In this instance, donor pairs may be eligible for a paired exchange, or kidney swapping program. At Methodist University Hospital Transplant Institute, we partner with the National Kidney Registry to match pairs with other compatible pairs across the country.
Living kidney donors can expect to be in the hospital for three to four days following surgery. Kidney donors can generally return to work within four to six weeks without heavy lifting. You will follow up in our transplant clinic for a short period after donation, and all donors are encouraged to be followed by a primary care physician and maintain a healthy medical regimen post donation.
Call 901-516-9183 to learn more about living donation. After you complete the form, our coordinator will contact you and conduct an initial screening over the phone.
James D. Eason Transplant Institute
1265 Union Avenue, 1 Sherard
Memphis, TN 38104