Donating a kidney does not have any effect on a person's life expectancy. In fact, studies have shown that people who donate a kidney live longer than the average population. Twenty years after the donation, 85 percent of kidney donors were still alive, while the expected survival rate was 66 percent. There is no evidence that living donation shortens the lifespan, and it does not seem to increase the risk of kidney failure either. Most people with only one normal kidney have few or no problems.
However, potential donors should consult with their doctor about the risks of donating. Some studies suggest that living donors may be more likely to develop high blood pressure. It is important for donors to have regular medical checkups, including kidney function tests and blood pressure checks. A research study even found that kidney donors may live longer than non-donors. The long-term survival rate after kidney donation is approximately the same as that of generally healthy people who are not kidney donors.
The transplant team will discuss any pre-existing conditions or other factors that may increase the risk of developing kidney disease before making a decision about donating. When the kidney is removed, the single normal kidney will increase in size to compensate for the loss of the donated kidney. If you donate to a transplant center associated with the National Kidney Registry and need a kidney later on, priority will be given to a kidney from a living donor. There were 25 deaths within 90 days of live kidney donation, raising the risk of death to 3.1 per 10,000 donors, compared to 0.4 per 10,000 people in the NHANES III group. It is possible to get pregnant after donation, but it is generally not recommended for at least six months after donation surgery. And after 12 years, living kidney donors had a lower mortality rate (1.5 percent) than those in the control group (2.9 percent). We have passed the Living Donor Protection Act, which protects donors from being denied life, disability or long-term care insurance after donating. While recovery times may vary, most living liver donors can return to their pre-donation level of health a few months after the donation.
Donors should follow up with the transplant hospital for two years after kidney and liver donation.