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Living Kidney Donation

Who Can Donate a Kidney

Informed consent means: The process of understanding the risks and benefits of tests or surgery. You will receive information about a test or surgery in order for you to decide whether or not you wish to undergo the process.

To be considered as a living donor, you must:

  • be over 18 years old and be able to give informed consent
  • be healthy
  • have healthy kidneys

It has to be your own personal decision to become a donor. You must have stable mental health and be able to give an informed consent. If you’re being pressured or forced to donate you can’t give informed consent, and won’t be accepted as a donor.

Can I be a donor if I smoke?

The living donor program will look at how much you smoke, how long you have smoked, and how healthy your lungs are. ​Smoking may put you at too high of a risk to donate. You may require extra testing if you smoke cigarettes, or if you smoked cigarettes in the past. It’s always best to stop smoking. Quitting smoking may lower your risk for problems with the anaesthetic or complications from the surgery.

Can I be a donor if I’m overweight?

The living donor program will look at your overall health to decide if your weight makes surgery too risky for you. If you are otherwise a suitable donor, it may be possible to delay the surgery until you lose some weight. If you want to improve your health, start now by making simple changes like quitting smoking, eating healthy foods, and getting regular exercise. Check with your family doctor to make sure these changes are right for you.

Who can’t donate a kidney?

We want to make sure that donating a kidney is safe for everyone so some people may not be able to donate. You will not be able to donate a kidney if you have any of these conditions:

  • diabetes
  • kidney disease
  • unhealthy amount of body fat
  • uncontrolled high blood pressure
  • are pregnant or have been pregnant in the last year
  • serious heart disease
  • most types of cancer

If you have any questions about whether you can donate, please call one of our living donor programs:

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