There are three types of kidney donors:
Patients who receive a kidney from a living donor have a much shorter waiting period before receiving their transplant, and generally have the best outcomes.
Prospective kidney donors are asked to complete a confidential, online health history questionnaire before coming in for an evaluation. Click here to complete the donor questionnaire.
If you are unable to access the questionnaire or want to learn more about living kidney donation, call 808-691-1179 to speak to our living donor coordinator, or fill out the Living Kidney Donor Intake Sheet and fax or mail the form directly to the Queen’s Transplant Center.
Kidney paired donation (KPD), or paired exchange, is an option in which a living donor and recipient are not compatible with each other. KPD occurs when a donor exchanges their kidney with the living donor from another incompatible donor/recipient pair to create two compatible pairs. Exchanging with another incompatible pair can allow for two compatible transplants.
It can take anywhere from 1 month to 2 years to find an exchange pair. This depends on the donor/recipient antibody levels, blood type, and number of people in the trade pool database.
The Queen’s Transplant Center is participating with the National Kidney Registry. The National Kidney Registry allows a computerized matching system to identify compatible recipient/donor pairs across the nation from multiple transplant centers. This greatly increases the potential donor trade pool which increases the chances that a compatible kidney transplant can occur.
If you do not have a living donor, we encourage you to reach out to family members and friends. Through kidney paired exchange, anyone can be a potential donor for you, even if they are not a blood type match.
If you are interested in learning more about the National Kidney Registry, please call the living donor coordinator at the Queen’s Transplant Center at 808-691-1179
The Queen’s Medical Center Transplant Center’s skilled team performs a kidney removal (nephrectomy) using a minimally invasive laparoscopic technique. This procedure offers less pain, smaller scars, a shorter hospital stay, and faster recovery than with traditional open surgery.
After the living donor is discharged from the hospital, they will have scheduled follow-up appointments at regular intervals after donation, including:
The donor will meet with the transplant coordinator and their surgeon to monitor their kidney function and blood pressure. Donors will be given (or mailed) a lab order to be completed prior to their scheduled appointment. Lab work includes urinalysis and serum creatinine. These are tests that help determine the function of the donor’s kidney.
The Queen’s Transplant Center is required to submit follow-up information to the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) at 6 months, 1 year, and 2 years post-donation on all living kidney donors.
It is recommended that donors monitor their blood pressure annually. A desirable blood pressure is less than 120/70. You may need treatment if your blood pressure is greater than 130/80.
Generally, expenses incurred by living donation are covered by the recipient’s insurance or Medicare. These expenses can include:
The Transplant Financial Coordinators at the Queen’s Transplant Center work with potential donors to discuss the financial aspects of donation.
Expenses that are not directly related to the organ donation are NOT covered costs. Non-covered costs could include:
Living donors who have their surgery at the QMC are eligible for the following benefits through the National Kidney Registry’s Donor Shield program:
Living donation may sometimes have a negative impact on the donor’s ability to obtain, maintain, or afford health, disability, and life insurance. It is important to talk with the Queen’s Transplant Center’s Financial Coordinator and your current insurance provider(s) to find out if being a living donor could impact your insurance coverage.
Potential donors, families and recipients can call the Queen’s Transplant Center’s Financial Coordinator to discuss your financial concerns/questions. You may also call the Transplant Social Worker to learn more about the National Living Donor Assistance Program, which may provide financial assistance to those who want to donate an organ. They can be reached at 808-691-8897.
Living kidney donors must be 18 years of age or older and be in very good medical and psychological health. Each potential donor meets with the Queen’s Transplant team to evaluate whether these criteria are met.
Each potential donor meets with a nurse for an initial screening and will complete blood and urine tests, as well as x-ray studies. The potential donor also meets with physicians to make sure there are no medical issues that would prevent donation.
Counseling and education are provided throughout the process, but potential donors have the right to opt out of donation at any time.
Studies suggest that long-term health after donation is not negatively impacted. Kidney donors live just as long, and with the same quality of life as if they had not donated a kidney. The donor’s chance for a long, normal, and healthy life remains the same with one kidney.
Usually, any costs incurred by living donation are covered by the recipient’s insurance, or Medicare. For more information, check out our page on financial considerations.
This is a question we receive frequently, but unfortunately cannot answer. While consulting with your family, physicians, and other trusted advisors can be helpful, the only person who can answer this question is the potential donor themselves.
Living donation is not for everyone, and we recommend doing personal research to determine if it is the correct decision for you. Potential donors may find it helpful to talk with another person who has been a living donor. Donors will also have an opportunity to talk with an independent living donor advocate (ILDA). The ILDA advocates for potential living donors by helping to promote the donor’s best interest.
Please avoid use of the following non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) because they can harm your kidney:
|Generic Name||Brand Name|
|Ibuprofen||Advil or Motrin|
|Aspirin||Excedrin or Bayer|
|Generic Name||Brand Name|
After your donor surgery, please tell your primary care physician, as well as other doctors taking care of you, that you are a kidney donor. This will help them avoid prescribing medications that may harm your kidney.
If you are admitted to the hospital in the future, it is important that you let the doctors taking care of you know that you only have one kidney. This way, they can avoid giving you medications that may potentially harmful.
Drugs physicians and other medical professionals should avoid for kidney donors are commonly called “nephrotoxins,” and include:
If you need more information about your medicine and its use, check with your doctor, transplant nurse, or pharmacist.
At the Queen’s Transplant Center, we have a team ready to discuss potential issues. Call and report symptoms early to avoid a trip to the emergency room or a stay in the hospital.
Call the Queen’s Transplant Center if you have any of the following: