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FAQ:  Frequently Asked Questions

Not necessarily a FAQ, but if you have Short Term Disability insurance through your employer, it should cover your lost income during your donation and recovery time.  But be certain to verify coverage with your employer or insurance carrier.  My insurance pays for all your hospital bills except routine checkups, blood work, etc. commonly done with your annual physical.

These are answers to some Frequently Asked Questions from my transplant hospital

University of Colorado Transplant Center

I’m not related to the recipient. How do I know if I’m a match?

You don’t need to be a relative to donate. The living donor department will test your blood type. If you are not compatible but still healthy enough to donate, then paired donation may be an option. This means you could donate to someone else in exchange for a compatible kidney for your recipient.

Can I donate if I don’t have insurance? Will my insurance cover the cost of donating?

Aside from age-appropriate cancer screening, there are no out of pocket expenses for donor medical testing. Testing is covered by the recipient’s insurance once they are approved for transplant and on the list.

Am I at risk for developing kidney disease later on?

According to research, the risk of developing end stage kidney disease after donation is very low and kidney donors live as long as those that do not donate. Donors are evaluated thoroughly and are healthy, so this risk is lower than the general population.

What if I develop kidney disease?

It’s extremely rare, but if you develop end stage kidney disease and need a kidney transplant, as a previous living donor you will take priority on the transplant list.

How long before I can return to work?

Generally, most donors return to work within 4-6 weeks of donation. The medical team will consider your job activity along with how you are feeling before clearing you to return to work.

I plan to have kids. Will donating affect any future pregnancies?

Many women have donated and have had successful pregnancies with no complications post-donation. If you call our living donor department, they will give you more information about pregnancy and donation.

Will I have to change my lifestyle after donating a kidney?

You should avoid using certain medications for an extended period of time, but most donors can return to their normal activities, including sports and exercise, about 4-6 weeks after surgery.

UCHealth Living Donor Department Phone: 720-484-2237. If you get a general operator, please ask for the Kidney Living Donor Department.

PS: If you aren’t interested in being a living donor, please consider signing up to be an organ donor upon your passing.

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