Transplant from a living donor
About living donor transplant
What is a kidney transplant?
A kidney transplant is a surgery where doctors take a kidney out of someone else and put it into your body. It can help you live longer and more comfortably than using dialysis. Not everyone is healthy enough to get a kidney transplant. Your transplant center can help you find out if you are healthy enough. The donor kidney can come from someone:
- Who is alive and chooses to donate their kidney
- Who has died and previously chose to donate their organs
This section is about getting a kidney from someone who is alive, also called living donor transplant.
What is a living donor transplant?
A living donor transplant is when a healthy person donates 1 of their 2 kidneys to someone whose kidneys no longer work. A person can live a full, healthy life with just 1 healthy kidney.
The transplant team
Your transplant team is the group of people who give you care, education, and support through the whole transplant process from before you are on the waitlist until after your surgery. Get to know your team’s names so you can get their help when you need it.
Your team at the transplant center includes:
A doctor who will look at your tests results to find out if a transplant is a good option for you. This doctor also performs transplant surgeries.
A doctor who focuses on kidney disease, and who will help you care for your kidneys before and after transplant
Usually a nurse, who will be your main contact and will work with you and other members of your transplant team to manage your care
Trained professionals who can help you and your family find resources, including making a financial plan and coping with the emotional and social challenges that can come with your illness
A person who helps you learn what to eat before and after your transplant to keep a healthy weight, have less problems with the medicine, and have better transplant outcomes
A person who helps you figure out the costs of your transplant, your insurance, and how you can afford any costs your insurance doesn’t cover
A trained technician who supports other healthcare staff on your team
A trained professional who will help you understand which medicines you have to take after surgery to keep your body from rejecting the kidney and to stay healthy
This doctor will help take care of your mental health before and after surgery, and give you the help you need to deal with the emotional challenges of a new kidney
Your living donor will have their own transplant team, including a living donor advocate who protects the rights and health of the donor in the donation process. This transplant team will not be able to give you any information about your living donor. Only your donor can share their information with you.
If you're thinking about a living donor transplant
- Learn about their living donation programs
- Do testing and interviews to see if you’re eligible
Leaders in transplant excellence
UNOS works with leading educational partners to provide accurate, trustworthy health information. Our educational partners include: