A full in depth account of being a Living Kidney Donor can be found here. From my decision to donate, risks of living with one kidney to the risks of donating a kidney. My emotions along the way and why I donated. The evaluation tests involved in being a living kidney donor and what I thought of them! The frustrations and sadness and finally joy of finding a recipient for my kidney. The final pre-donation tests that gave me a sleepless night or two right up until the day before the kidney operation! Then the day of the operation to remove my kidney together with recovery after the kidney donation, in hospital as well as back home.

A lot of useful advice is also given in the comments section of the post, so they are worth reading also.

Please either scroll to the bottom of this page or use the links on the left to read about the different stages of kidney donation. The links across the top of the page also give an insight into my reasons for donating a kidney plus some useful links on the subject.

If anyone has any questions regarding the donation process or how I felt about any aspect of it, then please do post a comment or if you prefer contact me via the contact page (link at top of page).

One thing I will say is that if I could do this all over again I would without hesitation.


8 Responses to “Living Kidney Donation”

  • Monica:

    Hello Diane,
    What a wonderful thing you have done. I see it is several months since you did donate. Do you feel any different now, either physically or emotionally? Did everything go as you thought it would. I wonder if I can contact you privately to ask some questions? I am interested in the emotional side of the donation process.


  • Diane:

    Hi Monica,
    Thanks for posting. Do I feel different? Physically, no I don’t. Well actually I probably feel a bit fitter as I had to take better care of myself, lol. Emotionally, yes the whole process affected me quite a lot – for the better – in many ways.

    Yes of course you can contact me. Use the contact form – link at the top of this page and let me know your email and I will get back to you.

    All the best

  • John:

    Hello Di,
    I have heard it is different for a man to donate than a woman, do you know if that is true? How much time do you need to recover?

    Congrats on what you did. I am hoping to donate to my sister.

  • Diane:

    Hi John,
    I am not sure if there are different evaluation tests for men and women. My hospital needed to see the results of my recent cervical smear and breast screening, which would only apply to women. But whether you have any tests we don’t? I am not sure.

    As far as recovery there certainly can be some differences. I have been told by a couple of male donors that they had severe pain in the respective testicle and it became swollen. They were told this was because the blood supply can be compromised during the kidney removal. They were advised to wear underwear that supported them immediately after the operation and that helped a great deal until swelling/pain got better. This does not happen to all male donors though. Apart from that I have not heard of any differences – does not mean to say that there are not though.

    Recovery times can vary. A lot depends on whether you have laparascopic (keyhole) surgery or open surgery. Also each persons rate of recovery can vary. With keyhole I know a man who had a desk job and they were back at work part time after two weeks, though personally I feel that is a bit too quick. I think the guidelines are up to around 6 weeks for keyhole and 3 months for open surgery for full recovery. Also a lot depends on your lifestyle as to when you would consider yourself “fully” recovered.

    Hope that helps

  • Kenneth Martin:

    Hi All, I too have my dad a kidney just over two years ago. My dad is doing great and I would do it all again if needed to. My recover was quick as I had a great nutrition plan pre and post operation. It is truly amazing how the body can heal when it is properly nourished.

    I hope it all works out for everyone.

  • Diane:

    Hi Kenneth,
    I think most people who have donated say they would donate again in a flash if they can. yes good nutrition is needed by the body for it to heal nicely but also one needs a good operation and to keep wounds nice and clean and not to overdo activity afterwards unti the body is fully ready. The oldest person to donate a kidney was 83 years old and was back mowing the lawn on his second week.


  • kevin:


    i am 18 and thinking of having a living kidney transplant but wanted to know what are the main risks are?
    and more information if anyone can help me?


  • Diane:

    Hi Kevin,
    You are having a living kidney transplant? As for risks, I am no expert on the recipient side but I would have thought the risks of you having a live kidney were no different to you having one from a cadaver. As for the risks for the donor check out this page on my blog and hopefully that will help. Your transplant coordinator should be able to fill you in on anything i have missed out on. One main thing for you to be aware of though is getting a blood clot after the transplant. This can happen regardless of where the kidney comes from. It can happen at any time even when you have gone home after the transplant. ANY feeling of illness, or dizziness or unusual pain etc you MUST immediately seek advice. Once you have gone home it is really up to you to be aware of your own body and what feels not right. Don’t assume it is a “normal” post op feeling.

    The advantage of you having a live kidney is that they generally last a lot longer and the donor has had a good evaluation and the kidney has been checked out fully first.

    All the best

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