Kidney Recipient Process

Learn More About The Process of Receiving a Living Kidney

Receiving a kidney is a physical and emotional journey for the patient, as well as his/her family, but it’s not a journey you have to travel alone. The APKD can connect you with other living donors and kidney transplant recipients who can share their stories, answer your questions and guide you along the way.

Before Transplantation

Once you and your living donor have been confirmed as an incompatible match, both of you will register with the APKD, complete the necessary medical testing, and be entered into the paired donations database. There, our unique computer algorithm will work each day to find other registered pairs who may be a match with you and your incompatible donor.

When a potential match is found, a team of healthcare professionals from one of our participating transplant centers will determine if advanced medical testing is needed. If so, both you and your incompatible donor will be scheduled for that testing.  While not common, some matches are deemed incompatible after further testing is completed. In those cases, all pairs will be re-entered into the APKD kidney donor list, and we will continue to search for a match.

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.

During Transplantation

Some transplants are set up as a simple swap, where your donor matches the other recipient and their donor matches you. Some transplants are part of a larger chain, where you receive a kidney before your donor donates one.

Chains can be especially beneficial when spouses or other close family members are part of the donor/recipient pair. Since chain transplants are often done at least a week apart, it frees up family members to be there for one another’s surgery and recovery.

In some cases, the living donor will travel to the transplant center nearest you for surgery. In most cases, the donor’s kidney is removed and shipped directly to the recipient’s transplant center.

After Transplantation

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.

Financial Assistance

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.

Find Out More

For more information on kidney donations and transplants, read our frequently asked questions.  Continue the conversation and connect with a transplant advocate for additional information or to begin the process of registering to receive a transplant.

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