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Living Donor Transplants have the Best Outcomes

A living donor transplant is a procedure where a kidney is removed from a healthy donor and its surgically implanted in a recipient with kidney failure.

The living donor can be anyone who is healthy to donate. It can be a family member, spouse or friend. Living donor kidneys can also come from strangers who wants to help someone in need of a kidney.

A living donor transplant has many advantages over a deceased donor kidney transplant, the most important being a significantly higher success rate.

 Additional reasons include:

  • It shortens the wait time for the person in need to less than a year. The average wait time for a deceased donor kidney could be up to eight years.
  • Living donor kidneys generally function immediately after transplant. A deceased donor kidney might take several days or weeks to function normally.

Living Donor Requirements

Living donors should be in good overall physical and mental health and older than 18 years of age.

Some medical conditions could prevent you from being a living donor. Medical conditions that may prevent a living kidney donation may include uncontrolled high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, HIV, hepatitis, acute infections, or a psychiatric condition requiring treatment.

Since some donor health conditions could harm a transplant recipient, it is important that you share all information about your physical and mental health.

You must be fully informed of the known risks involved with donating and complete a full medical and psychosocial evaluation. Your decision to donate should be completely voluntary and free of pressure or guilt.

If you are interested in being evaluated as a potential living donor, please contact our living donor program by calling 302-623-3866 to get the process started.

Types of Living Donor Surgery

There are two options or methods for donor kidney removal surgery or a nephrectomy:

  • Laparoscopic.
  • Open.

Because laparoscopic donor nephrectomy is a minimally invasive procedure, in most cases, donor patients experience significantly less discomfort; have a shorter recovery period, and return to work more quickly than donors who had traditional open surgery. Because the incisions are small, laparoscopic donor nephrectomy causes reduced post-operative pain and shorter hospital stays, and patients experience a quicker return to normal eating habits and daily activities.

Most people who are eligible for open nephrectomy are also eligible for laparoscopic nephrectomy. However, you might not qualify for the procedure if:

  • You have had multiple previous abdominal surgeries.
  • You are significantly overweight.
  • There is abnormal anatomy of the kidney.


Our surgeon team will complete a pre-operative evaluation to ensure that laparoscopic nephrectomy is appropriate for you. However, in a small percentage of cases, even approved laparoscopic procedures might be converted to open procedures.

Contact Us

American Society of Transplantation Living Donor Circle of Excellence Member
ChristianaCare Newark Campus

Medical Arts Pavilion 2 (MAP 2), Suite 2224
4735 Ogletown-Stanton Road,
Newark, DE 19713