UCLA is one of the leading programs on the West Coast offering living donor kidney transplantation for adult kidney transplant and pediatric kidney transplant patients. This procedure is one way our commitment to innovation, research and trials makes transplant available to more people. Click here to read about Finding a Living Donor.
For a living donor kidney transplant, surgeons remove one kidney from a living donor and transplant it in the recipient.
The living donor usually is a relative or close friend, but anyone who is medically healthy can donate a kidney. There are four types of living kidney donation: direct donation, paired exchange donation, non-directed donation, and advanced donation. After the transplant, both donor and recipient can function normally with one kidney each.
The greatest advantage of living donation is that the kidney tends to have more immediate function, lasts longer than a kidney from a deceased donor and greatly decreases the amount of time the recipient needs to wait for transplant to occur, particularly in California.
Other benefits include:
Our extensive experience in living donor kidney transplantation makes us a trusted choice. We offer:
Adult and pediatric care in one facility: Few facilities offer pediatric care and adult care in the same program. At UCLA, the living donor and recipient stay in the same hospital and are cared for by the same team. This makes recovery easier and less stressful for children and adults alike.
Transition to adult care: We care for all of our transplant patients before and after your transplant - from childhood through adulthood, in one facility. Learn more about our process for the transition to adult care.
Kidney Exchange Program: Children and adults who are unable to receive a kidney from a loved one or friend have the opportunity at UCLA to receive a living-donor organ through an exchange among incompatible donor-recipient pairs.
Immunosupression Free "Tolerance" Protocol: Researchers have developed a protocol to keep the kidney working without anti-rejection medications, and the UCLA Kidney and Pancreas Transplant Program is now offering this new protocol. If you have a well-matched family member who wishes to donate a kidney to you, you may be a candidate for our Immunosuppression Free “Tolerance” protocol. If you or your loved one are interested, please contact our program at (310) 825-6836 and ask to speak to a member of the Living Kidney Donor Team. See brochure here.
Incompatible Blood Type: Some living-donor transplants are possible even if they involve blood group (ABO) or tissue antigen (HLA) incompatible pairs. Read more about incompatible blood type kidney transplant.
Living donor transplant recipients are evaluated and approved for transplant just like traditional kidney transplant recipients.
The living donor transplantation procedure includes:
If you are interested in becoming a prospective living donor, please complete a confidential, online health history questionnaire before coming in for an evaluation.
Our automated system will inform you if you are eligible to becoming a donor shortly upon completion.
Note: Please complete this questionnaire from a laptop or desktop (and not a mobile device) to better concentrate on critically important questions regarding your health.
Thank you for your interest in becoming a kidney donor!