Kidney Donor Tips

If you are considering donating a kidney, follow these tips to make the procedure as easy as possible.

  • Online Screening: If you are interested in donating, complete the online screening. It should take only five minutes. This will let you know if you have any health issues that will prevent you from donating.
  • Colonoscopy Requirement: If you are over 45, you must have had a colonoscopy within the last five years. If you have not had a colonoscopy within the last five years, try to get one done before you start the donor evaluation process.
  • Local Workup: If you live a long distance from the transplant center that you may donate at, ask them if you can complete the donor workup locally so that you can avoid the cost and time associated with the travel.
  • Pain Medication: Prior to surgery, ask your surgeon for IV pain medication for the first 12-24 hours after surgery so that you can sleep/rest without worrying about asking for oral pain medication every four hours. After the first 12-24 hours, switch over to oral pain medications so that you can have the IV removed as soon as possible (most centers want you to pass gas or do a bowel movement before they remove the IV).
  • Walking After Surgery: After surgery you may experience pain from the gas that was used during surgery to expand the abdominal cavity. The best way to reduce this gas related pain is to walk, so try to walk as much as possible after the surgery.
  • Massage for Back Pain: Many donors experience back pain after surgery in the form of muscle spasms. This is from the position that you are placed in during the surgery. If you have this kind of pain, ask the nurse or your caretaker to massage the area in your back that is sore. If you are offered a heat pad for back pain, ask for a massage.