Center for Transplantation

Living Kidney Donation

For many patients, a kidney from a living donor is their best hope for long-term survival. There are many advantages to receiving a kidney from a living donor:

  • The kidney from a living donor will last longer than those recovered from a deceased donor
  • The waiting time for a living donor kidney is much shorter

At the UMC Center for Transplantation, we strive to make the best possible match between a living donor and the transplant recipient. We ask transplant patients to talk to family members and friends about donating a kidney, since most potential donors want their kidney to go to someone they know.

Living Kidney Donation Steps

For those interested in donating a kidney:

  • Contact the Living Donor Coordinator at (702) 383-2224.
  • Participate in the Living Donor Education Seminar at the Center for Transplantation to learn all about live donor kidney transpants
  • Obtain a blood test to determine if your blood and tissue types are compatible with the organ recipient
  • Undergo a thorough medical and psychosocial evaluation to ensure that you are in good health and meet donation criteria

The transplant team will evaluate you to determine if you can donate a kidney. You will have blood tests to determine if your blood and tissue types are compatible with the organ recipient. The transplant staff will interview you, and you will need to provide your medical history. You will also have a thorough physical examination and psychological evaluation. Several other tests, including detailed imaging of your kidneys, will be performed to ensure that you are in good health and that you meet donation criteria.

The transplant staff will discuss with you and your family the benefits and risks of donating an organ and will answer your questions. After you donate an organ, living-donor coordinators and other transplant staff members will offer you support and follow-up care for several months after your surgery.

Financial Concerns

The donor will not be billed for the evaluation or kidney removal operation. The medical costs are usually covered by the recipient’s insurance. Not all travel expenses are covered and the potential donor may be required to pay some out-of-pocket costs. However, the National Living Donor Assistance Center provides financial assistance to those who want to donate an organ, but who are unable to afford the travel and subsistence expenses associated with living organ donation.

Laparoscopic Kidney Removal

The UMC transplant surgeons have extensive experience and expertise performing minimally invasive surgery to remove a donor's kidney (laparoscopic donor nephrectomy) for a kidney transplant, as an alternative to open surgery.

In a laparoscopic donor nephrectomy, surgeons conduct your procedure through three small incisions in your abdomen, using surgical instruments and a camera (laparoscope).

After laparoscopic nephrectomy, you may have a quicker recovery, a shorter hospital stay and less pain than after open surgery. Many kidney donors return to their normal activities or job within a few weeks of donating a kidney.

For more information regarding living kidney donation download a brochure below:

Related Links

National Living Donor Assistance Center