Some Common Q & A

What if the donated kidney does not work?

Even if the donor and recipient have perfectly matched kidneys there is no guarantee that the kidney will work.

While the success rate of live kidney donation is very high, success is not guaranteed. For technical or medical reasons, the transplanted kidney may not work.

This will be discussed with you by members of the team throughout the live donor assessment.

Am I more likely to suffer renal failure in the future by becoming a live kidney donor?

The risk of a live kidney donor ending up suffering renal failure in the long term, following donation of a kidney, is the same as for any healthy member of the population – extremely low.

How will becoming a live kidney donor affect my daily life long term?

Having only one functioning kidney does not have any effect on your activities or daily life. Life expectancy is unchanged by having only one kidney. However, care should be taken if you are playing contact sports to prevent injury to your remaining kidney.

High blood pressure is a potential risk and there have been some reports of minimal loss of kidney function related to high blood pressure. Your doctor will want to check your kidney function every 1–2 years.

What costs might I incur as a living donor?

Different fees and charges may apply depending on your own health insurance and how the doctor and hospital charge for their services.

Fees may be charged for medical tests, examinations, doctors’ visits and other medical or surgical interventions. Before undergoing surgery you should discuss with your doctor any fees you will be required to cover.

If you have private health insurance you may elect to be hospitalised as a private patient, and in this case it may be possible for you to also select a specialist surgeon of your choice.

If you are hospitalised as a Medicare patient, the relevant transplant unit will usually assign a specialist surgeon to perform your surgery.