Text size A A A


Living kidney donation

A kidney from a living donor offers advantages in comparison with a kidney from a deceased donor.

  • The waiting time for a kidney transplant is about 3 to 6 months, instead of 2.5 to 5 years.
  • You can undergo a kidney transplant before your kidney function has become so poor that you need dialysis.
  • The quality of a kidney from a living donor is better. This kidney will last for an average of 20 years. A kidney from a deceased donor lasts for an average of 10 years.
  • The operation can be planned. The time that the new kidney is without blood is shorter. This means that the quality of the new kidney is retained better.

Suitability of the donor

Have you found a donor? In this case, a doctor will determine whether the kidney donor is suitable for donation and whether the kidney is suitable for you. Whilst you are undertaking this preparation for a living kidney donation, you will not lose your place on the waiting list for a kidney from a deceased donor. During the living donation process, you will temporarily be listed as ‘not transplantable’. If the living donor is not suitable, your status on the waiting list will be returned to ‘transplantable’.

Read more about kidney transplantation

How can I find a kidney donor?

The first step in finding a kidney donor is raising the subject of living kidney donation. Everyone has their own way of doing this. Some people wait for their family, friends or acquaintances to raise the subject. Others bring it up themselves. But everyone finds it difficult to ask another person if they would like to donate a kidney. This may apply to you too. You may be afraid that your family, partner or friend will feel pressured to give a kidney. Or that your relationship with these people will change. You can talk about these feelings. The other person will then know that it is difficult for you to discuss this subject. This will also show that you do not take it for granted that someone will donate a kidney to you.

Tips for raising the subject of living kidney donation

  • Talk about your kidney disease. Friends and family need to be educated to understand the negative consequences of the disease and the best treatment options.
  • Make people aware of the living donation opportunity.
  • If people around you want to know more, take the time to explain everything. If someone is interested, take them to information sessions, give them brochures or let them read about other living donors’ experiences.
  • Show that you understand living donation is a major choice. Give people plenty of time to consider living donation.
  • If there are questions, you can show people the information for kidney donors on this website. Your family and friends can also always ask their question to the panel.

Read more under ‘Can I donate a kidney?
Read experiences
Read more about donation options
Read the frequently asked questions
Request further information about donating
Read about the kidney home-visit teams