Living Donor Kidney Evaluation Process
Step 1: Questionnaire and Blood Testing
- The donor will complete an initial questionnaire that includes a series of questions regarding overall health status. Donors should not have high blood pressure, cancer, diabetes, heart disease or kidney disease. Click here to download the living kidney donor questionnaire.
- This questionnaire is reviewed by one of the nurse coordinators from the Living Donor Program. If the questionnaire is approved, a transplant phlebotomist will contact the donor to inform them that they may proceed with initial blood testing.
- If the donor lives within 75 miles of UMMC, they will need to come to the Transplant office to have their blood drawn. If they live further than 75 miles away from the Transplant office, a kit will be mailed them to have their blood drawn locally.
- The blood will be tested for blood type, antigen match, as well as a crossmatch with the recipient. (The crossmatch tells whether the recipient cells react well with the donor cells.) It will take 2 weeks to receive the test results.
- A nurse coordinator will call to inform the donor of their results and will speak with them about their interest in further testing.
Step 2: Further Testing & Education
Tests and Assessments
- The donor will complete an EKG, chest x-ray, bloodwork, and urine tests. A blood pressure check, medical history & physical examination will be completed by a nephrologist or nephrology nurse practitioner. A psychosocial assessment is conducted by a social worker. (Blood tests include: HIV, Hepatitis B & C, kidney function, liver function, possible virus exposures, test for anemia).
- During the evaluation day, the donor will attend an education session, facilitated by a nurse coordinator, where they will learn more about the laparoscopic procedure and will receive educational materials.
- The donors will also meet with a financial coordinator to learn about the billing procedures for donation. Typically, the transplant center and the recipient's insurance will cover the cost of the evaluation and surgery.
CT Scan and Surgeon Visit:
- The donor will meet with one of the laparoscopic donor surgeons, as well as complete a CT scan to determine the specific anatomy of the kidneys and urinary tract.
- Other tests may also be required depending on the donor's gender, age, and genetic make-up. These may include: Pap smear, mammogram, PSA, exercise stress test and a 2-hour glucose tolerance test. If the donor is a smoker, they will be instructed to stop smoking.
- The donor will be informed of the results of these tests after 2-3 weeks. If a CT scan or evaluation by the surgeon did not take place on the evaluation day, the appointment for the donor will occur on another day.
- Once all of the tests are completed, the donor's results will be discussed at a multidisciplinary meeting. If approved by the committee, the donor and recipient will have a surgery date set, as well as a day for pre-admission testing, which will generally be within a week of the surgery date.
Step 3: Pre-Admission Testing
(Pre-admission testing will usually occur within one week of the surgery).
- The donor will meet with an anesthesiologist to discuss the anesthesia process and answer any questions that they may have.
Recipient Surgeon & Nurse Coordinator
- The donor and recipient will meet the recipient's surgeon and a nurse coordinator to discuss the surgery and will have the opportunity to ask questions.
- The donor will meet with the living donor social worker to discuss their feelings and expectations about upcoming surgery and to confirm aftercare plans.
- The donor will meet with a financial coordinator to review procedures for billing to avoid cost to the donor.
- The donor will have blood drawn for a final cross match and updated labs as well as a final urine sample taken.
- The donor will be instructed to stop aspirin products or other blood thinners three days prior to surgery.
- If they are a smoker and have not yet stopped smoking, they will be instructed to do so.
- The donor will also be given a hospital brochure with information regarding their stay, as well as information regarding surgical preparation for the night before surgery and the time and place to report on the day of surgery.
To speak with someone about our services or to become a living kidney donor, please call 410-328-5408 or 1-800-492-5538.