FAQs for Potential Living Donors

When you consider becoming a living donor, you may have several questions that come to mind. Here are some answers to the most common ones. This may help you address potential concerns about donating a kidney to someone in need.


#1: Are there long-term health issues for donors living with one kidney?

Studies show there are no significant long-term health effects after donating a kidney. Discuss any specific health concerns with your doctor.


#2: What happens if I need a kidney later in life?

Being a kidney donor often gives you priority status on the transplant list if you need a kidney in the future.


#3: Do I need to take any specific medication after donating a kidney?

 Your doctor will prescribe medication as appropriate for your overall health.


#4 Do I get paid time off for recovery after kidney donation?

There is no national policy. But know that if you donate a kidney, you might be covered under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), which offers up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave that can be taken over a 12-month period. Your employer may or may not offer paid time off for organ donation recovery. Talk to your boss or human resources department for more information.


#5: Does health insurance cover the cost of donation surgery?

Generally, the health insurance of the recipient to whom you are donating covers most costs related to the donation procedure. Work with the transplant center for more details.


#6: Can I get back to all of my normal activities after donating a kidney?

Yes, you can. It may take several weeks to recover from the procedure but after that time frame, you should be able to resume all of your normal activities. It helps to speak with the transplant surgeon who performed your procedure if you have specific questions.


#7: Is kidney donation surgery risky?

Kidney donation is a major surgical procedure done frequently in the United States. Talk to your transplant center or doctor about the risk and how to be best prepared and stay healthy for the procedure.