Effects of kidney donation on donor?

Hi guys,I am a 30 years old woman and my brother is 25. I have had one failed transplant (lasted 1 year) and now I have been on dialysis for 4 years.My brother is healthy, doesn't smoke or drink. This question is pertaining him. Could everyone please share their or experiences of their live organ donors?For example :levels of pain after donationrecovery time (out of bed and walking)returning to rigorous sporting (no contact sports)scarringpain management and levelsPlease guys let me know, I am both desperate for information and apprehensive about this whole thing.Thank you guys for reading. All the best to everyone in their endeavours.

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  • I have been told that the risk is small for donor. Are you back in the transplant list? Once you both sign up the team makes sure you both know what to expect during surgery and post  call and ask the transplant team. There are also many sites you can go on that gives you some information

  • Hello!  I'm 55. I donated a kidney three months ago and I am doing very well!  My husband needed a transplant, so as part of a chain, I gave one and he got one.  I can tell you I have absolutely no regrets!  I will admit that the recovery was a bit more than I anticipated.  My surgery was laproscopic, so I have three small (about 1 inch) incisions and on larger (about 5 inches, and near my hip bone).  I was released on day three, but could have left on day two, post surgery.  I attribute part of my pain to not realizing that I needed to ask the nurses for 'break through' pain meds. I got up the day after surgery to venture to the bath room and walked the halls the next day.  Once released, I think I took pain meds only three more days as I'm not a fan.  I dealt with nausea, but was given a med upon discharge (zofran) that helped.  I didn't eat much the first week, but bonus, lost 12 pounds!  I was back to work after two weeks-I have a job that is mostly desk work but with a fair amoutn of walking.  I was limited on what I could lift for the first six weeks, but now can do as I wish.  They do say that the donor recovery is more difficult than the recipient and we saw that in my household.  My husband's pain was much less.  That said, this was my first surgery and I had myself thinking it would be a breeze.  In my mind, 8 days of discomfort FAR outweighs the benefits that I've seen as a result of my husband's new lease on life.  I would absolutely recommend (and have many times) that folks consider donation.  It's minimal effort on the part of the donor but makes a life change for the recipient.  Good luck! 

  • My son is my living kidney donor hero.  I received his precious gift of life in 2015 when he was 33 years old and I was 62 years old. Both of us had successful surgeries.  He was discharged the next day and I was discharged on day 3.  I was off pain meds in less than a week.  He had a lot of surgical gas pain that settled in his shoulders for 2 1/2 weeks that was controlled with pain meds.  He was back at work as a civil engineer at 3 weeks.  We are both doing well.  He has told me that he doesn’t feel any different with having just one kidney.  He truly saved my life. I am thankful everyday for his amazing life changing gift❣️ With kidney transplant joy and thankfulness, Margo

  • My wife was my donor 4 years ago both in 50's in decent shape. . We were both walking the next day she got out i day sooner only because I could not go to the bathroom. Lots of walking and back to work in 30 days. Some pain after but no meds. We were both back scuba diving in a year - mainly the hold up was me. 

  • Hi Mindy:

    I received my kidney from my wife ~ 36 months ago.  Everyone is different, but one thing, I believe, must be constant.  You'll go from sub 10 to 50+ GFR.  Your donor will go, overnight, form 100 to 50.  It will be very tiring for that person and will take time (months) to adjust.  I won't mention the pain level as we are all different. 

    The fact that he leads a 'clean' life and is 25 is great for him.  I'm sure he will be fine and your clinic will watch him.  As for activity - he'll know what he can do / can't do and will in shorter fashion than my wife - will be up to 100% activity level (but 50 GFR) quickly.

    Congratulations (& I guess your'e making Christmas dinner from now on!)


  • How your donor does is as individual as how the recipients do. It's all across the board. When my Mom went down to the other post surgery floor the day after the transplant, she couldn't find my cousin in bed. She was in the bathroom, doubled over the sink washing her hair. I don't know how long she was in hospital (I was in for 3 weeks), but I know that she was shopping in the mall using a scooter (together with both Moms) within a week of the surgery. She's had no problems at all, and it's been 15 years.

    • Haha, this story gives me strength :) Thank you!
  • Hi Mindy,

    My wife who was my donor was obese- her bmi being 30+ so some of the side effects i mention here may not be applicable to your brother...

    After the nephrectomy, it took my wife 3 days to get out of bed and start walking... For 1 month she restricted herself to walking indoors within the house... Post 1 month she was back to her normal activity level... For up to 6 months post the nephrectomy she was little low on energy as the body took time to adjust to the single adrenal gland as the adrenal gland attached to the donated kidney is unable to receive blood flow- this is applicable only if the donated kidney is the donors left kidney...

    Post the 6 months, she is back to her full bubbly energy levels... She travels extensively and there's absolutely no problem... She is not into contact sports so cannot comment on that aspect...

    However, she occasionally experiences sharp pain which lasts for just a few seconds around the surgery area but doctors say it's just the muscle healing... Besides this no other problem...

    All the best...

    • Thank you so much for this info. I have forwarded this to my brother. ;)
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