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Living Kidney Donor

Kidney Recipients

For the kidney recipient, receiving a living donor transplant has a number of advantages over a deceased donor transplant.  For one, there is still a great shortage of deceased donor kidneys creating a need for a waiting list.  Furthermore, living donation provides the ability to better plan for surgery.  In addition, living donor kidneys are statistically less likely to reject and are more successful.

Consequently, patients who are fortunate to have a living donor from a family member, friend, coworker, or acquaintance will more likely avoid years of waiting for a deceased donor transplant and have a transplanted kidney that will survive longer, with fewer complications.

Kidney Donors

For the Kidney donor, a person with two healthy kidneys, it’s generally possible, and safe, to donate one kidney and still have normal kidney function.  Studies have shown that donation does not cause harm to the donor's remaining kidney and that people with one kidney have the same life expectancy as people with two kidneys. Our main goal is to cause no harm to the living donor and to prevent no deterioration of their kidney function. 

Who Can Donate

To be considered as a donor, a candidate must be:

  1. Willing to donate
  2. Older than 18 years old
  3. Within normal weight ranges
  4. In excellent health with no current disease or illness
  5. A compatible blood type (see chart below)
  6. Able to pass the required medical evaluation
Transplant Candidate Recipient Blood Type Compatable Donor Blood Type
A A or O
B B or O
AB A, O, B or AB (all types)

Anyone deemed medically suitable can donate provided they understand the nature of the procedure and the risk to their health, must not be coerced, must provide voluntary consent, must be mentally competent and must be of legal age. Most donors have a relationship with the transplant recipient: family members (parents, siblings, children, grandparents, uncles, aunts, nieces, nephews, cousins), spouses, significant others or friends make up the majority of living donors, However, the number of unrelated donors continues to increase: friends (from church, book club or other activity) or “sympathizers” through social media or billboards may decide to donate to a specific, known patient with end-stage renal disease. And then there are the Good Samaritans: people who decide to selflessly donate one of their kidneys because they know that we need only one. This form of donation, called “non-directed” donation, provides a life-saving organ to a stranger with end-stage renal disease. This “non-directed” organ will then be allocated to the patient with the highest priority on Upstate’s Transplant Program waiting list.  Different blood types (not “matching”) are no longer a contraindication for donation.

Living Donor FAQ’s

If you are serious about becoming a living donor, please complete the online Living Donor Screening Form. It is an important preliminary screening tool we use to see if you meet the initial criteria necessary to become a living donor.

Please contact us at 315 464-5413 with any questions you may have that were not answered on this site, or if you are interested in becoming a living donor and would like to set up an appointment with us.