Living Donation

Living-Donor Kidney Transplant Information and Process

At UPMC, we carefully evaluate potential living-donors to make sure that they can safely 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. A pre-donation evaluation
  2. Surgery to remove the donor kidney
  3. 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.