FAQ Need a Kidney

Frequently Asked Questions About Receiving a Kidney

How is paired donation different?

Approximately one-third of all willing donors are incompatible with their intended recipient. In the past, that meant patients had to start all over with their search for a donor. Now, incompatible pairs have another option, and it often shortens the waiting time for transplantation. Paired donation creates a pathway for living kidney donors and their incompatible recipients to find matches with other pairs in the same situation. Simply put, paired donation breaks chains by making them.

Once a match is found, when will surgery be scheduled?

Once your match is confirmed, your transplant will be scheduled. Coordinating the logistics of multiple patients and transplant centers can often take months to arrange. However, your transplant advocate will keep you updated throughout the process.

How can I become a part of the APKD’s list?

The first step to becoming a kidney recipient through paired donation is to find a living donor. This may be a friend, family member or someone in your community who wishes to give you the gift of a living kidney. All pairs will undergo a thorough medical history questionnaire and health assessment at a participating transplant center before being entered in the paired donations database.

Is there a cost?

As a non-profit organization, the APKD provides financial assistance to qualifying transplant patients and their families. Your transplant advocate can help you with this process.

What if I’m already on a transplant list?

Most recipients are already on a deceased donor waiting list, but this is not a requirement. If your transplant center feels that your condition warrants a transplant, and you meet the APKD’s criteria, you could be eligible to participate in paired donation.

What if I don’t have a donor?

In order to be part of the paired donation program, you must have a living donor. If you need to find a donor, we encourage you to try the following resources. The Living Kidney Donor Network is a non-profit organization with a mission to educate kidney patients on how to find a living donor. Founded by Harvey Mysel, a kidney recipient, the LKDN offers valuable tips and resources on how you can help a donor find you.  Living Donors Online is a public bulletin board featuring a wealth of resources about living donation. It also includes a section where patients can add a free posting regarding their need for a donor.

How long does it take to recover from transplant surgery?

Recovery times for recipients will vary depending on their health at the time of transplant and several other factors. Prior to undergoing surgery, the transplant surgeon will let you know what to expect based on your specific situation. The APKD can also connect you with other kidney transplant recipients who can share their stories and help answer your questions about life after receiving a transplant.