Consider Living Kidney Donation

Dec 10, 2021 | Kristin Eggebraaten | @keggebraaten | Comments (6)

The need for kidney donors is great. In the U.S., close to 100,000 people are waiting for a kidney transplant. With this great need for kidneys, there’s also a need for living donors. The decision to become a living donor shouldn’t be taken lightly and could have a huge impact on someone’s life.

Our living donor toolkit will provide you with more information about becoming a living donor.

Did You Know?

  • To be a living kidney donor, you don’t have to be related or even know the recipient.
  • A usual hospital stay for living kidney donors is typically just 2-3 days.
  • The short and long-term survival rates for patients who had a living donor are better than those who had a deceased donor.
  • There’s no official  cutoff age for being a living kidney donor.
  • Living donation reduces the amount of time a person spends waiting for a deceased organ.
  • As a living donor, the recipient’s insurance typically covers your donation-related medical expenses.
  • Living kidney donation often allows a recipient to avoid dialysis completely if it was not already started.
  • Even if you have controlled hypertension, you might still qualify to be a living donor at Mayo Clinic.

If you are qualify to be a living kidney donor, but you are not a match to your recipient, you can choose to be part of a kidney donor paired exchange. In paired donation, donors and their recipients aren't compatible for a transplant. However, the donor of each pair is compatible with the recipient of the other pair. If both donors and recipients are willing, your doctors may consider a paired donation.

To start the process to be a living kidney (or liver) donor, visit our Be a Living Donor web page.

Are you a living donor? What would you like others to know about the process?



Interested in more newsfeed posts like this? Go to the Transplant blog.

Five years ago my wife donated her kidney in a match program, so that our adopted son would be able to receive a kidney from another living donor who was a better match. From start to finish, I would say the process took about 3 months. She recovered from her laparoscopic surgery in about 2 weeks and other than watching her salt intake, has made no changes to her lifestyle. Our son was able to get a kidney from someone who was closer into his age and is doing great. If you know someone who needs a kidney, whether you are a match or not, this is a phenomenal way to get them relief.


My daughter gave her brother a kidney 9 years ago and both are doing great. Living donor gives life to both parties. She would quickly tell you she would do it again.


@icohen525 and @bb21, stories like your families' donations really underline the importance and joy of giving the gift of life. I invite you to join the conversations in the Transplants group

When people ask about donation, I'd like to be able to call upon you to share your experiences and knowledge.


I would be more than happy to, and I will join the transplant group as you suggest.


I will join, but more importntly, my kids can give the better feedback as donor and recipient.


I will join, but more importntly, my kids can give the better feedback as donor and recipient.

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All welcome.

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