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Being a living donor

How your life may change after the donation surgery

You will need a few weeks to months to heal from surgery, but after that most donors are able to return to their normal daily life:

  • You won’t need lifelong medicines
  • You can eat the same things you did before donation
  • You can be active and play sports
  • You can still get pregnant or father a child

Most living donors say they were happy with the donation experience and that they would do it again. It’s a chance to change someone’s life. In a few cases, related living donors have even reported an improved quality of life after donation.

To stay healthy, you’ll need medical checkups yearly and need to stay at a healthy weight after donating.

Want to talk to someone who has donated a kidney and ‘been there’?

You can contact a trained peer mentor (a donor who has already donated) who will offer support and share their experience with you.

Contact the National Kidney Foundation’s Peers Program

Want to talk to a trained professional? You can contact the National Kidney Foundation Cares help line:

Leaders in transplant excellence

UNOS works with leading educational partners to provide accurate, trustworthy health information. Our educational partners include:

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Duke University School of Medicine
Emory University
Johns Hopkins University
Mount Sinai Hospital
Northwestern University
Temple University
University of California, Los Angeles




Special thanks to our corporate sponsor for supporting excellence in transplant education:



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