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Frequently Asked Questions

Who qualifies for laparoscopic nephrectomy?
More than 90% of donors can have laparoscopic nephrectomy. The procedure is offered at most transplant centres. This procedure will be reviewed with the donor during the evaluation process. The donor needs to be aware that during the operation, there is a small chance that the surgeon may need to convert the laparoscopic incision to an open nephrectomy to safely remove the kidney.

Why is the left kidney usually chosen?
For both types of nephrectomy, the left kidney is usually chosen. It tends to have longer blood vessels and is easier to access. The right kidney is sometimes obstructed by the liver, making it more difficult remove. In some cases the surgical team may decide to remove the right kidney for transplant, if it is in the best interest of the donor and recipient.

Are the recipients old kidneys removed
No, not unless it is necessary for the health of the recipient. The old kidneys are not easy to access. It would mean a longer surgery or even another surgery for the recipient. The new kidney is put in the lower abdomen on one side.

How long does the evaluation take?
The evaluation time varies. It depends on your availability, your family doctor and whether or not extra tests need to be performed. The average time for evaluation is three to six months.

What if I change my mind?
You may find that you get more anxious the closer you get to finishing the evaluations. These are normal feelings. If you are having doubts about donating, please tell your living donor coordinator. We will support you in your decision and may offer social work or psychiatric services if needed. If you decide not to donate, we will maintain your privacy at all times. The donor team will report that you cannot donate at this time for health reasons. It will be up to you if you wish to give more information. You can change your mind at any time, even the day of surgery.

What if I get pregnant after donating a kidney?
Women of child-bearing age who donate a kidney can have successful pregnancies. We recommend that you wait at least six months after donating before becoming pregnant. If you are planning a pregnancy after donation, please talk to your donor nephrologist.

When will the surgery take place?
The timing of the surgery will depend on the needs of the recipient. If the recipient is on dialysis, the surgery can take place as soon as the evaluations are complete. If the recipient is followed by the Progressive Renal Insufficiency (PRI) clinic, it will depend on how much kidney function they have. Sometimes their function deteriorates quickly, while other times it may take months or years for them to be ready for the transplant. We will try to give you as much notice as we can about the transplant date.

Thank you for your interest in living kidney donation. If you decide to go ahead with the evaluations you need to contact the donor coordinator. If we do not hear from you, we will assume that you have decided not to become a donor at this time.

Living Donor coordinator: 613-738-8400 ext. 82778