Transplant Centers are required to follow living kidney donors for at least 2 years following the donation surgery.
All donors should be seen at the following time points: a visit with their surgeon at some point between 2 to 6 weeks after the surgery, and then at 6, 12 and 24 months by the team at the transplant center.
Certain information about the health of the donor must be submitted to the United Network for Organ Sharing, as required by transplant regulations. If donors cannot visit the Transplant Center, they may see their own primary care physician, who can then forward the pertinent information to the Transplant Center.
Donor follow-up is essential to enable the transplant community to assess the true risk of donor complications. If donors do not return to the transplant center for follow-up, known complication rates may be falsely low due to under-reporting.
Although donors are not required to follow-up with the transplant center forever, it is recommended that donors follow-up with their primary care physician once per year.
At those yearly visits, the following should be checked:
Past donors should also have blood tests every few years to measure their creatinine level, which is an indicator of kidney function. The creatinine should be checked more frequently if any abnormalities are found on the annual urinalysis or blood pressure measurement.
Living organ donors are generally very healthy before transplant and maintain a healthy lifestyle. After donation, it is important to keep up those healthy habits in order to avoid medical problems in the future.
The following are some suggestions that can help past living kidney donors to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
It is generally recommended that female kidney donors wait at least 6 to 12 months after donation to become pregnant. In addition, the kidney donation should be discussed with the physician managing the potential pregnancy.
The outcomes of pregnancy after kidney donation appear to be similar to those of the general population. However, some studies have shown that there may be an increased risk of preeclampsia/high blood pressure in pregnancies that occur after donation compared to pre-donation pregnancies. More information is needed to fully understand the risk of complications, since much of the existing data is from surveys and registries.
For male kidney donors, donation does not impact their ability to father a child.