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Living-Donor Kidney Transplant Information and Process

At UPMC, we carefully evaluate potential living donors to reduce your risk of complications when they donate their kidney.

We perform comprehensive medical and psychosocial exams to determine risk for surgery and follow-up needs after surgery.

Steps of Living-Kidney Donation

From the perspective of the patient receiving the kidney, the living-donor transplant process is similar to a traditional kidney transplant (where the kidney comes from a deceased donor.

For kidney donors, the process includes the following steps:

  1. Online registration
  2. A pre-donation evaluation
  3. Surgery to remove the donor kidney
  4. Post-donation follow-up and care

Throughout the living-donation process, donors will interact with a multidisciplinary team of kidney transplant experts, including:

  • Dedicated living-donor transplant coordinator
  • Transplant social workers
  • Dedicated transplant nurse coordinators
  • Nutritionists
  • Transplant nephrologists
  • Transplant surgeons
  • Pharmacy transplant credit analyst

This team will determine if you are suitable for living-donation.

Partnering Through Organ Donation

If cleared to donate an organ, donors will be assigned an independent living-donor advocate to act on their behalf.

The living-donor advocate helps to ensure the donor is fully aware of what it means to be a living donor and understand the risks of the transplant surgery.

The living-donor advocate will voice any concerns of the donor to the multidisciplinary transplant team and will determine that the donor’s decision is fully informed.