Congratulations at considering being a living donor! How far are you into the process?
I'll answer your immediate questions and I've written a lot on here about my story that you can go back and look at if you'd like.
The surgery was successful (for myself and the recipient) and much easier than I thought it would be.
I was surprised at how little pain there was afterwards. It hurt but wasn't excruciating and my pain tolerance isn't very high. I was up and walking around by dinner time and released around lunch time the next day. I was on pain meds for a few days and tylenol as needed for about a week. The fear of it hurting was actually greater than the pain.
I just passed my 2 year mark and am back to the same as I was before.
The pros are, I saved someone's life. That's weird to type out and sounds so egotistical but I didn't really grasp that until recently. I knew what I was doing would help this person but didn't really think about all of the other lives that she touches. I've gotten to know her over the past 2 years and have heard her story. She was going to die sooner rather than later and now she's back to work, traveling, marrying off her kids, and watching her grandchild grow up. I am in awe of her determination and the science and skill it took to help her live.
The cons, none for me but I feel very fortunate. Between Dr appointments,evaluations, surgery and recuperation time, I missed about 5 weeks of work. I'm self employed and don't get paid when I don't work so we did a lot of budgeting. My clients were understanding and welcomed me back when I was ready. My flights, hotel and medical expenses were paid by the recipient. Her family went above and beyond and took us out for some meals and brought us groceries while we were in MN. Money was tight but we made it work. I understand that can't work for everyone.
If it helps for your husband (and you) to know, I was told that because I am a donor, I am at the top of the list if I ever need a kidney. Also, There were 1000000 tests and labs that were done before the donor board even approved me and all of them were to make sure that I would have a successful surgery and a long, healthy life after donation.
The whole process was amazing, terrifying, inspiring and awesome and I would 100% do it again if possible.