There are tests that all potential donors need before they can be a living kidney donor. These tests may also be called evaluation, assessment, or work-up.
Sometimes during testing a new medical condition might be found. If this happens, the Living Donor Program will send the test results to your family doctor to follow up. You may also get a referral to a different healthcare provider for more tests or treatment.
How long does the testing take?
It can take
several months to finish the testing you need to become a living donor.
Tests are set up around your schedule when possible. However, you may need to take some time off work, school, or your daily tasks to do the testing (evaluation). The time it takes depends on where you live and what tests you need to have done.
If testing takes longer than expected, you may need to repeat some tests. This is because some tests are time-sensitive, and results may no longer be valid unless repeated.
By going to all your appointments and doing the tests as soon as you can, you can shorten the time it takes to complete the evaluation. If you can’t make an appointment or miss one, call the Living Donor Program right away so it can be rebooked.
What’s involved in the testing?
Your Living Donor Program coordinator will ask you questions about your medical and social history. Then other tests will be done to check your health and wellness. They help make sure donation is safe for you and the recipient.
You may be familiar with some of the tests as they are often what your doctor checks with your annual health check-up. You may need to go to a clinic or the hospital to have some of the other tests done. For each test you’ll get instructions about what the test is, what you need to do, and where you’ll need to go for that test. If you have questions, about any of the tests or the results, be sure to ask your Living Donor coordinator or your healthcare provider.
As a living donor, you may want to fill out a Personal Directive. This is a legal document where you choose another person to make health decisions for you when you’re not able to make them for yourself. Many people, when they go for major surgery, also create or update their Will.