Donating a kidney is a major decision that can have both positive and negative effects. While it is a selfless act that can save someone's life, it is important to understand the risks associated with kidney donation. The vast majority of kidney donors recover with minimal complications, but some donors have reported long-term problems such as pain, nerve damage, hernias, or intestinal obstruction. Kidney donation involves major surgery and carries the same risks and side effects that are common in any major surgery.
These may include nausea, vomiting, constipation, and numbness around the incision. Most complications don't happen very often and can be treated. However, there is also the risk of surgical complications such as blood clots.In addition to the physical risks, there are also potential long-term risks associated with donating a kidney. These may include high blood pressure (hypertension), the high amount of protein in the urine, hernia, organ alteration or insufficiency that leads to the need for dialysis or a transplant.
Studies have shown that living donors live as long as people who never donated, but it is important to be aware of these potential risks.Fortunately, there are also many benefits associated with donating a kidney. Many donors say they feel better about themselves after donating and most say that if they could do it again, they would still choose to donate their kidney. Advances in surgical techniques have drastically improved the cosmetic outcome following live kidney donation. Donating can also be rewarding and studies have shown that it does not affect a woman's ability to have children.It is important to understand both the risks and benefits associated with donating a kidney before making this major decision.
Donors should be carefully examined to make sure they don't have any health problems that could worsen with a kidney donation. Reese said that living kidney donors can do much to minimize their short- and long-term health risks after donation.