frequently asked questions


Please note that the answers to these questions utilize the information provided by the Ohio State Medical Center in the Living Kidney Donor Candidate Education video that can be found on our home page.

Is living kidney donation safe for the donor?

Yes! Living kidney donation is a relatively low risk procedure. After donation, the donor will retain about 75% of their original kidney function, and the average life expectancy is the same as a person with both kidneys.

What happens if I, as the donor, end up needing a kidney?

If by some rare chance you need a kidney transplant later in life, you will be moved to the top of the transplant wait list because you have donated.

What if I qualify but am not a match?

It’s important to note that even if a donor’s blood type is not compatible with the recipient’s, there is still the option to be an indirect donor for your recipient through the Kidney Paired Donation Program. In a paired donation, an incompatible donor/recipient pair is matched with another incompatible donor/recipient pair for an exchange. Each donor gives a kidney to the other person’s intended recipient.

Who pays for the surgery?

The recipient’s insurance pays for the testing, evaluation, and surgery expenses.

What happens if I change my mind about donating?

You may back out of the procedure at any time. All medical information is always kept confidential

What is the donation process?

For a detailed breakdown of the process, please refer to the video mentioned above that can be found on our home page. In simple terms, the donation process can be broken down into six steps. Some of these steps may run concurrently.

  1. The referral phase: Online Living Donor Assessment, Meet the Criteria to be a Living Donor
  2. Education Phase: Understanding the Risks and Rewards of the Procedure.
  3. Evaluation and Testing: Ensure You are in the Best Health for Donation.
  4. Patient Selection Committee: Review of Your Tests and Medical History, Committee Determines If You Will Be Recommended as a Living Donor.
  5. Pre-Admission Testing: 10-14 Days Prior to Surgery, Blood Drawn to Confirm Tissues Match Intended Recipient, Screen for Diseases.
  6. Donation Surgery: The Life-Saving Procedure!