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Whenever we choose to undergo a surgery, there are a lot of questions that we try to seek answers for. Here's a list of things one must know before he or she opts for kidney donation!
What is the rate of recovery?
The recovery period of the donor is usually in the range of 5-7 days. However, it depends on how fast an individual recovers and what is the kind of procedure performed on the patient. It can greatly vary from person to person. The donor might feel an itching sensation and experience pain as the incision heals. Activities such as contact sports and heavy lifting are not advised, post 6 weeks of surgery.
How does the transplant affect the donor?
Living with one kidney is not unusual and it is possible to lead a normal life with some to no problem at all. The donor’s kidney has a tendency to increase in size after the transplant. This happens to make up for the lost kidney. While some physical exercise is healthy for the body, activities that require heavy body movement should be avoided. Donors are required to go through extensive medical check every six months to avoid any possible complications.
Does donating a kidney affect life expectancy?
Life expectancy does not decrease after kidney donation and the chance of the existing kidney failure is limited too. Studies have revealed that a donor has a tendency of developing a high level of blood pressure. Having said this, a thorough discussion with the transplant team should be done to discuss any possible complications that might occur post the surgery.
Mental state after kidney donation:
A donor can go through a mixed set of emotions after donating a kidney. Overwhelming joy, depression, relief and anxiety are some of the common emotions a donor goes through. Studies have shown that less than 1% of all donors show any signs of regret. On the contrary, more than 80% donors reveal that they would have done the donation anyways. The donation experience is generally positive. If, however, a donor is going through emotions he cannot handle, he should join a self-help group or report to a doctor.
Is there any side effect of kidney donation?
Apart from the scar a patient receives after the surgery, there aren’t too many complications. Having said this, there are tendencies to develop high blood pressure, proteinuria and a reduced functionality of the kidney, resulting in pain. Long-term diseases such as nerve damage, obstruction, and hernia can catch up as well.
Is there any dietary restriction?
It is entirely possible to go back to your old and regular diet. However, in the case of any complications, a patient might have to skip few things from the diet. It is a good idea to get a clear picture about the dietary requirements from the kidney transplant team.
Does donation hinder in getting pregnant?
The medical advice from a doctor is that it is not a good idea to become pregnant till at least six weeks post the surgery. However, it is entirely possible to get pregnant after kidney donation. But it should be ensured that a patient receives very good prenatal care to reduce any possible complications. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a Nephrologist.