Before donating an organ, serious thought should be given to the future consequences of a donor’s overall health and welfare. Studies do not indicate a significant long-term risk to the donor. Still, donation should not be taken lightly. There may be a slightly higher risk of developing high blood pressure. This usually occurs in donors over 55 years of age at the time of donation. There is also a very small risk of developing kidney failure. This is usually related to the development of kidney disease that was not present or anticipated at the time of the donation and not directly related to the kidney donation itself.
Many women have had normal pregnancies following donation and there is minimal risk to the mother and the baby. Additional monitoring may be advised by the OB/GYN physician.
If you donate a kidney, hospital staff must tell you about how living kidney donation relates to ongoing or chronic kidney disease and kidney failure. Your Independent Living Donor Advocate as well as the living donor nephrologist should help you understand these terms.
If you are thinking about donating a kidney, you should know that:
Current policy gives living donors priority on the national waiting list if they need to get a kidney transplant in the future. You can ask your Independent Living Donor Advocate or /Living Donor Coordinators about this policy.