ChristianaCare uses two surgical techniques: Hand-Assisted Laparoscopic Nephrectomy and Open Nephrectomy. With a Hand-Assisted Laparoscopic Nephrectomy, a short incision is made in the abdomen to remove the kidney. Two to four other very small incisions are made to accommodate a telescopic camera and other instruments. For an Open Nephrectomy a single incision is required and the kidney is then removed.
Evaluation includes a complete medical history review, physical examination, blood and urine samples and other tests necessary to determine whether it is safe for the donor to proceed. All the information obtained is confidential. During the course of the evaluation, the living donor will meet with the donor team. The donor team includes a surgeon, nephrologist, living donor coordinator, social worker, dietician, and financial coordinator. In order to protect the living donor’s best interests, an Independent Living Donor Advocate (ILDA) – who is not on the ChristianaCare kidney transplant team – will be provided to each donor.
The major risk is the same risk associated with any type of surgery: complications or death from anesthesia. There is no risk associated with living with just one kidney. People who have diabetes or hypertension, however, may not be good candidates to donate a kidney, because they have a higher risk of facing kidney disease themselves.
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.