Living Donor Evaluation

Before a person can be accepted as a living donor, a complete evaluation must be done that ultimately involves the entire transplant team. You can start the process by completing and returning the Living Donor Transplant Application (English | Spanish).

The living kidney donor evaluation has two goals. The first is to complete the testing needed to determine if you are able to donate a kidney. The transplant team wants to make sure that living kidney donation is a good option for you now and in the future. The second goal is to provide you the opportunity to collect all the information needed to make an informed decision about kidney donation. When you meet with the transplant team, you are encouraged to ask questions.

The living donor evaluation is done in steps (see below). This allows the transplant team to review the results from each step before moving the donor to the next step. This process lets us make the most of your time in the clinic, cuts down on repeat trips, and avoids the ordering of unnecessary tests.

The potential living kidney donor will not see the same members of the transplant team that evaluated the recipient. This protects the privacy of the donor and ensures that the team can make an objective decision about the donor’s ability to donate.

More than one donor may submit an application to donate to a recipient. Only one donor at a time can go through the full evaluation.

Evaluation Steps

Step 1: Blood type confirmation (A, B, O, AB)

We need to know your blood type to see if you are compatible with your recipient. If you are a blood donor, you will already know your blood type. If not, we can test you in our lab.

If the recipient’s blood type is:Donor can be type:
A A or O
B B or O
AB A or B or AB or O

Step 2: Evaluation Day #1

  • Orientation
  • Consultations: nephrologist, transplant surgeon, social worker, and financial coordinator
  • Labs: blood work, 24-hour urine collection, urinalysis, and culture
  • Chest X-ray
  • EKG

Step 3: Evaluation Day #2

  • Meet with Living Donor Coordinator: protects the donor’s interests and rights
  • Additional tests may be ordered, depending on test results in Step 2 and personal or family medical history. These may include:
    • 24-hour blood pressure monitoring
    • Glucose testing

Step 4: Evaluation Day #3

  • CT scan of the abdomen and pelvis

We also need the following test results from donors:

  • Pap smear: for all female donors, as outlined in the recommendations of the American College of Gynecologists
  • Mammogram: for all female donors over age 40; results cannot be more than one year old
  • Colonoscopy: all donors age 50 and older

Step 5: Review by the Transplant Team

When the evaluation testing is complete, the results are presented by the Living Donor Coordinator to the entire transplant team. The team will review and discuss the results.

Step 6: Set Surgery Date

If you are approved for donation, the Living Donor Coordinator will contact you to discuss possible surgery dates and schedule the surgery.