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Living Donors

The decision to become a living kidney donor is a selfless act of love that may provide life-saving help for a sick family member or loved one. It's also a decision that requires very serious consideration, and one that must be voluntary, without undue pressure from others to make this potentially life-altering step.

In the vast majority of cases, kidney donors will go on to live perfectly normal lives with their one remaining kidney. Even so, there are risks with every surgery, and UNC goes to extraordinary lengths to be as certain as possible that our living donors' lives will not be negatively affected.

At UNC, our first goal is to protect the donor. You'll be given a thorough medical exam, both to make certain the match is compatible, and to ensure you have no health concerns that might put your own life in danger.

In addition, you'll meet with both a social worker and psychologist to be sure that any questions or concerns you have about living donation are answered, and that you're aware of the various risks associated with their decision. We'll make certain, too, that you're well prepared for the days and weeks after surgery, and that you have an adequate support system to help you after you return home.

Every potential donor also meets with our kidney transplant financial coordinator to discuss any possible costs you may incur.

At UNC, the vast majority of living donors have their kidney removed through a minimally invasive procedure known as laparoscopy, which is performed though very small incisions in the abdomen. Our surgeons were the first in North Carolina to perform this innovative procedure, which reduces recovery time, scarring, and post-operative pain for altruistic kidney donors.

Next Steps

If you have questions or are interested in donation, please contact our donor coordinator:

  • Amy Woodard, RN, BSN, CNN, CCTC
    Living Donor Coordinator
    Lead Kidney Coordinator
    Phone: (984) 974-7568
    Fax: (984) 974-0888