Donating a kidney

Our care

The decision to donate a kidney is not taken lightly. On top of that, the LUMC does not accept such a decision without talking to you first. By preparing carefully, we try to minimize any risks and ensure mutual confidence in the operation.

The decision to donate depends in the first place on whether you really wish to donate. The question whether you are a suitable donor only comes second. It is important to know that life with only one kidney is very well possible and that the spare capacity of the remaining kidney is sufficient.

You can donate to a family member, but also to a partner, friend or acquaintance. We prepare for the operation together with you, so that you face it with courage and confidence without any remaining questions or uncertainties. At the LUMC a very experienced team of specialists will be waiting for you.

Why you are in good hands with us?

Back in 1966 the LUMC was the first hospital in the Netherlands to carry out a kidney transplantation with a living donor. At the time a mother donated a kidney to her son. This was followed by other kidney transplantations with increasingly better results. That’s why doctors of the LUMC now have broad experience with kidney transplantations of both donors who are family and donors who are not.

More information: Quality of our care.

Who can become a kidney donor?

When you register as a potential donor we check a number of things. We look at the match with the recipient, but also examine your own health and your risk for kidney problems later in life. In principle you can donate a kidney to a family member or a non-family member, including your child, one of your parents, brother or sister, cousin, nephew, aunt, partner, acquaintance or an anonymous recipient.


Advantages and disadvantages of donating

Getting a kidney from a living donor has many advantages for the recipient. The waiting times are much shorter, so that that sometimes the donor does not have to start dialysis. This results in better long-term outcomes of the transplantation. Sometimes there is also a better tissue match with a reduced risk of rejection.

Donating a kidney is not something you just do. There are psychological issues you have to consider and sometimes there may also be possible financial consequences. On top of that, operations are not without risks. For more information see treatment. The most common complications are bruises around the wound, pneumonia, thrombosis or a wound infection. These complications may occur with any operation. It is our aim to reduce the above complications as much as possible.

Life with only one kidney

You can live a perfectly normal life with only one healthy kidney. The remaining kidney takes over the function of the removed kidney to a certain extent. The overall kidney function is often about 70% of the function of the two kidneys previously. That is more than sufficient and does not result in any problems.

So most people who have donated a kidney notice no difference whatsoever with the situation before the operation. After the recovery period you can do everything you did before, including sports and travel, and there is no need for medication or a diet. It is however, important to drink enough, to live a healthy life and refrain from smoking. It is also better not to take painkillers containing inflammatory agents (NSAIDs), such as Diclofenac or Ibuprofen, because they may harm the remaining kidney. Paracetamol does not affect the kidney and you are free to take it according to the prescription.

Registration for kidney donation 

If you consider to donate a kidney to someone you know with a kidney disease, or if you wish to be an anonymous donor for a patient on the waiting list, you can register without any obligations via this link. Include in the e-mail your name, date of birth, name of the recipient and your telephone number. You may also call 071-5298992.

Mag de ontvanger van de donornier bij het eerste voorlichtingsgesprek van de donor aanwezig zijn?
Mogen meerdere donoren zich aanmelden voor één ontvanger?
Hoelang duurt het onderzoekstraject van de donor?
Moet de donor na de operatie een dieet volgen of medicijnen gebruiken?
Wanneer moet ik mijn werkgever informeren?
Ik maak als donor onkosten, zijn daar vergoedingen voor?
Komen de donor en ontvanger samen op een kamer te liggen?
Hoelang duurt het herstel na de operatie?
Wat zijn de risico’s van de operatieprocedure?