After donating a kidney, most people can return to their normal daily activities after two to four weeks. However, it is advised to avoid contact sports or other strenuous activities that may cause kidney damage. It is also recommended to avoid lifting heavy objects for about six weeks after surgery. Most donors feel well enough to return to work in two weeks and feel like they used to within four to six weeks.
Living donation does not change life expectancy and does not seem to increase the risk of kidney failure. The single normal kidney will increase in size to compensate for the loss of the donated kidney. Most people with only one normal kidney have few or no problems. However, it is important to talk to the transplant team about the risks involved in donating.
At the appointments, donors will be asked to sign an authorization so that the results of the evaluation tests can be sent to their primary care doctor along with a letter explaining that they donated a kidney and the follow-up required after the donation. It is possible to get pregnant after donation, but it is generally not recommended for at least six months after donation surgery. The Living Donor Protection Act protects donors from being denied life, disability or long-term care insurance after donating. If a donor donates to a transplant center associated with the National Kidney Registry and needs a kidney after donation, priority will be given to a kidney from a living donor.Donors should be informed about how live kidney donation relates to chronic or ongoing kidney disease and kidney failure.
It is important for donors to talk to the transplant staff about the best ways to return to physical activity. No, kidney donors don't have to give up alcohol (although moderation is recommended) and yes, women can get pregnant after donating a kidney.