Life After Donation

Life after a kidney donation is not complicated, but it does require a few adjustments. As a donor, you should be committed to follow-up appointments and a healthy lifestyle.

The normal hospital stay after laparoscopic kidney removal is approximately one to two days. You should avoid lifting anything weighing more than 10 pounds for six weeks after you're discharged from the hospital.

Most donors are able to return to work in approximately four weeks, but the rate of recovery can vary greatly from person to person. 

Follow-up Appointments

You will come back to the Kidney and Liver Transplant Clinic several times over the first six months after surgery so we can make sure you’re recovering properly. Lab work will be done at each appointment. 

The Clinic will typically make your follow-up appointments on this schedule:

Seven to 10 days after surgery 
To see your surgeon
Six weeks after surgery 
To see your nephrologist
Three months after surgery 
To see the Living Donor Coordinator
Six months after surgery 
To see your nephrologist

It’s also important to establish and maintain long-term follow-up care with your primary care physician. We suggest donors undergo a routine physical and urinalysis and have their blood pressure and kidney function checked yearly. The UT Southwestern Medical Center Transplant Team will see all donors for two years.

It’s recommended that women wait six months after donating a kidney before trying to get pregnant.

A healthy lifestyle will ensure a normal life for donors. Be sure to eat a heart-healthy diet, exercise regularly, see your doctor annually, and watch your weight.