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A kidney from a living donor - Kidney transplant

  1. A kidney from a living donor is actually much better than a kidney from a deceased donor. An immediate family member can donate his kidney. This is called relationship transplant. The kidney from a living donor is in better condition than the kidney from a deceased donor. The donor's tissue typing often matches that of the recipient better. Moreover, this significantly shortens the waiting time. It is even better to transplant before starting dialysis. Read more below.

Types of live donation transplants

  1. Relationship transplant In a relationship transplant, there is a direct family relationship between the donor and recipient. A parent, brother, sister, son or daughter then donates a kidney to the patient (the recipient). Other family members such as uncle, aunt, nephew, niece and grandparents are in principle also eligible as donors. Even spouses or partners can be donors. This concerns a kidney from a living donor. Because there is a direct family relationship between donor and recipient, there is a greater chance that the tissue typing and blood group will fit better. The big advantage is that the patient immediately has a donor and therefore does not have to undergo dialysis (artificial kidney) or only very briefly. Naturally, the patient must of course be in good condition to undergo a kidney transplant.

Crossover Transplant

  1. If there is no possibility of getting a kidney from a close relative, a close friend or partner can still donate their kidney. Often the patient's tissue typing does not match that of the donor or there is blood group incompatibility. To be eligible for a crossover transplant, the donor must be emotionally connected and motivated to donate a kidney. This is also a kidney from a living donor. However, with this method, a different couple of donor and recipient is sought and both donors donate a kidney to the recipient of the other couple. It's basically a trade-off transplant. Searching for a couple is done via the computer of the Dutch Transplantation Foundation. They take care of matching transplant pairs. Once the cross matches between recipients and their newly found donor from both pairs are good, the two donor-recipient pairs are paired together. This matching procedure is carried out several times a year. The transplant cannot be scheduled until both donors are approved at the transplant centers and both recipients are in good condition. The couples remain anonymous to each other.

Altruistic or Samaritan transplant

  1. There are people who, completely free of charge, want to donate a kidney to someone who is on the waiting list for a kidney. This is an untargeted donation and is often done anonymously. These donors have an altruistic or Samaritan attitude to life. They want to do something good for others. It is also possible to make a donation to someone you know vaguely who is not a personal or emotional connection. That's called targeted altruistic or Samaritan transplantation.

Pre-emptive transplant

  1. This form also uses a kidney from a living donor. The transplant is performed before starting dialysis. Research shows that kidney transplantation works best in these patients, because it avoids the harmful effects of years of dialysis.

Requirements for the donor

  1. The donor must be of age The donor's blood group must match that of the recipient The tissue typing should not be objectionable to the recipient The physical condition must be very good The results of all medical examinations must be good The donor must not have kidney disease or any disease that can worsen kidney function in the future. (think of diabetes or high blood pressure) The donor wants to donate the kidney without financial compensation, so it is completely voluntary The donor must be sufficiently motivated. The donor must really want to.

Advantages and disadvantages of a kidney from a living donor

  1. The advantages outweigh the disadvantages, yet the disadvantages should not be forgotten.


  1. The waiting time is considerably shorter. As a result, the recipient has to dialyze less or not at all. The moment of the transplant can be chosen by yourself. When the donor and recipient are both in good condition, the transplant can begin. A kidney from a living donor is in much better condition than a kidney from a deceased donor. (the kidney is only outside the body for a very short time) A family member's kidney often has better-fitting kidney tissue features. Long-term health is good for the donor and the recipient.


  1. It remains a risk. The kidney can still reject

Pre-transplant interview

  1. Before a transplant is considered, an interview is conducted with the donor and recipient. A number of points will be discussed.

The pre-transplant medical examinations

  1. A lot of investigations have to take place before the transplant can actually go ahead. First of all, the tissue and blood group must match that of the recipient. Then it must be checked (as with the recipient) whether the donor is also physically able to donate his kidney.

The studies at a glance

  1. Blood group test

The donor's decision

  1. The donor can change his mind at any time to refrain from doing so. This is possible until the donor is on the operating table. When the donor still says "no, I don't want it", everything stops.

If the transplant can go ahead

  1. So if everything is good; The donor is suitable and has the real intention to donate the kidney and the recipient is able to undergo the transplant, then surgery can be planned. Unfortunately, waiting times vary from a month to a year. If there is a long period in between, some tests will have to be done again. [! 191918 => 1130 = 333!] The kidney transplant.

  1. The advantage of a relationship transplant and also of a cross-over transplant is that the waiting time is considerably shortened and the date of the transplant can be planned. The donor is generally hospitalized for a week and it is recommended that an annual check-up is performed in a hospital after the transplant.

If the transplant cannot go ahead

  1. Initially, the transplant cannot go ahead if the donor has suddenly changed his or her decision. But of course also if it turns out that the donor is not suitable. The cross match is incorrect or the fabric does not fit the recipient properly. Even if the donor or recipient is physically incapable, it cannot continue. Whatever the cause, stopping the process is often accompanied by emotions. This can be a frustration, but also a relief, for both the donor and recipient.

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