theskypebandit t1_j4tr4zc wrote

The testing in my case was paid for by the organization doing the testing. Typically the recipients insurance pays for everything in the hospital and any medication needed (pain was minimal, literally just was taking Tylenol) I didn’t have to pay for anything at all for my hospital stay except the place I stayed in while recovering after discharge and that was of my own choice. I didn’t even have to tell my insurance. The other thing I forgot to mention is that they require you to stay within roughly a half hour of the hospital in case you have complications. Typically the organization will help you find somewhere to stay/offer you a place to stay for cheap.


theskypebandit t1_j4t5m9q wrote

A ton of testing to determine if you’re a viable candidate for the person you’re donating to. The restrictions are typically pretty strict, no pre-existing issues that would affect you after the fact. The main purpose of the testing isn’t to make sure you’re a viable candidate, it’s to make sure you’ll be fine afterwards.

You’d get a complete work up on yourself, you’ll learn everything you ever wanted to know about your kidneys & blood medically. A lot of urinating into containers and people checking in on you. I learned through this process that both my kidneys have 2 renal arteries, which don’t serve any purpose. They tell you that the anatomy of your kidneys can disqualify you, basically if the surgeon doesn’t feel comfortable, they won’t operate.

My recipients mother was going to donate (58), completely compatible, but they didn’t move forward because there was a vein wrapped around the ureter. Like she’s fine but the surgeon didn’t feel comfortable.

You’ll meet with the following:

A kidney doctor (can’t remember the official name off the top of my head, sorry kidney doctors reading this thread!)

A psychologist(PTSD and post donation depression are REAL and the psychologist makes sure you’re fine mentally)

A social worker (to make sure you’d thought it through, and that you have a recovery plan. You need someone to take care of you while recovering since you can’t drive or lift anything heavier than 4lb. for a week at least. The recovery plan is key, have an idea of who’s gonna take care of you before you go in)

A dietician (makes sure you’re eating healthy and that your diet is maintainable and not going to hurt you. They require that you have a BMI below 30. I had a BMI of 32 the first time around and they conditionally approved me to move forward if I lost weight before the surgery, which I did)

A nurse coordinator (the main correspondent you’ll be talking to. This person is typically the one scheduling everything with you and telling you what’s next. My nurse coordinator was amazing, she was so sweet & made the whole process seamless).

As far as the surgery, I’ve been told by a few women that the incision/scarring is very similar to a C-section with an exception: there’s also 3 incisions made on your stomach where a probe is used to cut the kidney loose. They also pump your torso full of CO2 and leave it in there when they’re done, you’ll need to sleep on your back for a while or risk some terrible pain in your shoulder if laying on your side.


theskypebandit t1_j4t21re wrote

This was my experience too, I went all the way through one organization and got up to donation day only for some last minute blood testing showing that my recipient has an infection. They were so slow on treating it and we decided to go through another organization closer to her home (I’m in CA while she is in AZ). The second organization fast-tracked us through the process (more testing in a smaller timeframe, first time around took months while second time took 2 weeks) due to my prior approval. Had a date for the surgery scheduled in a month.


theskypebandit t1_j4rf503 wrote

I donated my kidney to a close friend in April 2022 and let me say, the vigorous testing before the surgery is way more intense than the actual surgery/recovery as a donor. The way it was explained was that if you are viable for a donation but not matching in any regard (blood and/or tissue type) then they put you into a national database (as least here in the US) where they pair you up with another similar situation pair. Lucky for us we were the same blood and tissue type. All in all, if anyone out there is curious in donating, I recommend reading up about it to see what it entails. I could probably answer any questions too