What is a Kidney Donation?
Kidney donation is a generous act that a person can do to save the life of another person who may die because of kidney failure. Basically, a kidney is an organ of the body that filters out wastes and fluid from our body, which is crucial to maintaining a healthy body balance. and if both kidneys of a person stop working then the person requires a kidney to survive. Here donation of a kidney helps save him/her life. The person who is donating a kidney should be healthy and fit. Kidney donation is good work as it saves a life. For kidney donation, surgery is done by the kidney doctor and the matched kidney of the donor is transplanted to a diseased person.
Let us explore the multiple factors to be taken into consideration before donating a kidney. If you are thinking of donating a kidney then you must be aware of the multiple factors of whether kidney donation is safe for you or not !!
Who can Donate a Kidney?
Although, a kidney donation is a philanthropic act on the part of the donor. But it is not for everyone there are many other factors to be considered before kidney donation. Below mentioned are some of the factors that should be present in a person to make him/her fit for donation
- A person must be 18+ years old.
- A person should be in good mental health.
- The donor kidney should be medically fit for transplantation.
- A person’s physical health should be in a good condition.
- The other kidney of a donor should be fit.
Types of kidney donor
In this section, we will learn about different kinds of people who can donate their kidneys. Largely they can be grouped under two categories such as:
1. Deceased donor :
A deceased donor is the one whose kidney is donated after his death. If the kidney is fit and healthy then this can be transplanted in the person who needs a kidney to survive.
2. Living donor :
A living donor donates his/her kidney during their lifetime. Subject to the medical fitness and guidelines these donors can be 18+ adults, old age people, etc. They live the rest of life with a single kidney. Living donors may suffer from complications during or after surgery.
How safe is kidney donation?
It is very important for kidney donors to know and understand whether kidney donation is safe or not. There have been comprehensive studies done by researchers across the world to understand the life of a kidney donor, and the result concluded that people who donate kidneys live a much healthier life. Their survival rate is almost similar to non-donors.
If you are thinking of donating a kidney then, you should not fear. But, it is always recommended to consult an experienced nephrologist in your area.
A healthy person without any major disease can donate a kidney and there won’t be any major problem after donation. But an unhealthy person may have issues after donating a kidney. A donor should consult the nephrologist before the kidney donation.
Is there any risk involved in kidney donation
There are multiple risk factors in kidney donation but that depends upon the donor’s health. Risk factors are classified as immediate or surgical risks and long-term or medical risks
Immediate or surgical Risk:
Immediate and surgical risks are those which happen immediately after the surgery or during the surgery, These risks are short-term and can be cured with medication.
Here are the following immediate and surgical risks that a donor can suffer after or during surgery
● The donor can suffer from severe pain after the surgery.
● The donor can have an infection.
● Risk of blood clotting.
● A donor may react to the anesthesia.
Long-term risks are those which occur post-surgery and remain with the donor for a long period. These risks can develop into new diseases to the donor.
Here are the following long-term risks that a donor can suffer after kidney donation.
● The donor’s other kidney can stop functioning.
● The donor may suffer from diabetes, high blood pressure, and a hernia.
● The donor can suffer from obesity.
● A kidney donor can suffer from end-stage renal disease.
Test before donating a kidney
The person who is donating a kidney might require certain tests before surgery so that the doctor can determine whether kidney donation is safe or not or the kidney is fit for transplantation. The following tests are done before the surgery.
● A doctor will review the medical history and physical examination of the donor.
● Immunological tests to determine the blood group of the donor.
● EKG test to determine heart function.
● Urine test to determine any urological disease to the donor.
● X-ray is done to check any abnormalities in the lungs of the donor.
● Laboratory tests are also performed.
What to expect after kidney donation
Kidney donors can expect certain things after kidney donation. They can have long-lasting impacts on the normal functioning of their life. So, here are a few of them:
● A donor may suffer from long-term disease after the donation of his one kidney
● A donor’s other kidney can stop working because of hyperfiltration.
● The donor’s diet plan will be changed after the kidney donation.
● A donor might need kidney transplantation in the future.
● Restriction in playing outdoor sports.
Why consult an experienced Nephrology doctor?
It is good to donate a kidney but one should consult the nephrologist before donating a kidney. Here are the following reasons that make it necessary to consult a kidney doctor before donation.
To ensure the legality of the donation process.
To comprehend the long-term risk that can happen after kidney donation.
To ensure your fitness after donation.
To ensure your medical eligibility before kidney donation.
To learn about fitness tips to follow after kidney donation for a better lifestyle.
If you are thinking of donating your kidney or helping someone with it. Then, consulting with experts is always a good decision. Dr. Nisha Gaur is one of the esteemed doctors in the field of Nephrology, She has completed her
MBBS and MD from govt. Medical College, Baroda ( Gujrat),
DM in nephrology from SMS Medical College, Jaipur.
At present, she is working as a Consultant nephrologist in Jaipur at EHCC, Rajasthan. She is a kind-hearted personality and dedicated to her profession. For the best advice, you can consult her.