With the input from other living kidney donors, I created this survey to help share the perspectives of other donors and to help guide conversations that can be difficult or overwhelming. The intention is not to reinforce any particular perspective, but to simply create a better and more complete starting point where information can seem scarce.
All surveys can be biased and data is not always as precise as we'd like it to be. Before digging in to the results, look at how the respondents of this kidney donor survey answered a few key questions about their experience and think about how those answers may influence other responses throughout the survey.
Direct donation was by far the most common type of donation amongst survey respondents. In this post, I take a closer look at the experience for those who participated in paired exchanges and donation chains.
Donors and prospective donors want more information about how the surgery will impact their long term health and many believe there aren't any long term studies to satisfy that need.
In the final question of the survey, I asked "Do you have any other thoughts you'd like to share with the owners of this survey or others considering kidney donation?" Many did. This post includes a listing of direct quotes from living kidney donors.
11% of the survey respondents say they were treated for surgical complications during their initial hospital stay after their kidney donation. How do those complications impact recovery times, long term outcomes, and feelings about donation?
Everyone's body heals differently and answers to questions about how a scar looks and feels depends on a few pretty obvious factors -- time since the surgery, type of incision, and how the incision was closed.
The time starting when you first came forward to tested through the day of the actual surgery can be long and incredibly stressful. I asked a few questions about the evaluation process and the stress experienced by prospective living donors.
I asked donors to share the online resources that they found to be most helpful as they navigated the process. This post lists some of the ones they mentioned.
Everyone's recovery is different and it's important to prepare for best and worst case scenarios. In the survey, I asked a few questions to help give a prospective donors a better sense of timelines and how much it can vary.