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?
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.
If both kidneys function equally, surgeons usually prefer to take a donor's left kidney. The survey data is consistent with that, but when I shared the breakdown of the left vs. right kidney donors I learned that this choice could have long term impacts on the donor's health.