After leaving the hospital, the donor will typically feel tenderness, itching and some pain as the area begins to heal. Heavy lifting is not recommended for about six weeks (more than 10 lbs). Many people go back to work within three weeks of their surgery.
Kidney donors are recommended to have routine medical follow-ups after donation to detect any blood pressure or kidney function abnormalities. The donor should return to the care of a physician and be seen on an annual basis. A normal diet, adequate water intake and avoidance of a heavy salt intake, as well as maintaining a regular exercise program, is highly recommended.
“After you become a kidney donor”
You must agree to give information about your health and general status to the hospital where you donated for two years after donation. The reason you need to have this medical follow-up is to check your health and to give you medical treatment as needed.
During this follow-up, like during any medical checkup, test might show that you have a medical problem that could need to be treated, and the cost of the treatment might not be covered by the recipient’s insurance. Also, if an infectious or sexually-transmitted disease is found, the hospital staff may need to report it, in confidence, to local, state or federal public health authorities, the transplant recipient’s hospital and the OPTN. The hospital staff will not share this information with your recipient, your family or any other person the staff is not required to tell by law.
If you have any questions or concerns about any step of living donor evaluation, donation or follow-up, ask your transplant hospital team or Independent Living Donor Advocate.
The United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) directs the nation’s organ transplant system.
UNOS has a toll-free patient services phone number: 1-888-894-6361
Call this number to:
- Find a transplant center in your area that does living kidney or liver transplants
- Learn more about organ donation and transplantation policies and data
- Ask questions or talk about concerns or problems