Things to Know Before You Consider Kidney Donation

If you are considering donating a kidney, you are offering someone another chance at life. However, this is a decision that you must take after due consideration. Donation is not risk-free. Your doctors and the medical team involved will of course discuss the main risks with you as and you will need to seriously consider them if you wish to be a donor. That being said, here are a few of the things that you should be aware of, before you decide to donate your kidney:

The procedure

Earlier, a live donor was required to undergo a major kidney transplant operation, where a large incision was made to remove the kidney. This was an ‘open procedure’ and involved a significant amount of pain and a long recuperation period. These days however, with laparoscopic surgery, only a tiny incision is made and the kidney transplant is performed with a scope and miniaturized surgical instruments. This is a minimally invasive procedure and has a shorter recovery period, with a very low chance of complications.

Preparation

Choosing to be a kidney donor, you will not only be required to be physically fit, but also mentally ready. You will need to get active (if you aren’t already), eat right, and stop smoking for at least a month before the surgery. Most importantly, you need to prepare mentally for what is to come.

Talking to friends and family

People close to you might of course have some trepidation about the procedure. Learn all there is to know about the procedure and the risks involved. This is not just helpful to answer their queries, but also for you, as the more you know, the better you will be prepared to deal with it.

After the surgery

You will be in some level of pain and discomfort after your surgery. You also will not be able to drive for a while; it will be helpful if a family member or friend can stay with you to assist you during recovery.

Deciding to donate a kidney to someone in need is a major decision and a very noble act on your part. However, it is definitely not a decision that can be made in the spur of the moment or on a whim. Do your research.