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Living Donor Kidney Transplant

If you have kidney disease that will lead to kidney failure, a kidney transplant might be the best treatment for you. Finding a living donor at an early stage of your kidney disease may allow you to avoid dialysis completely.
A kidney transplant from a living donor is the preferred treatment for many people suffering from kidney disease. There are several advantages to a living donor kidney transplant over a deceased donor kidney transplant:

  • Improved success rates 
  • Shorter waiting times
  • Surgical date is known in advance (helps with planning)
  • May avoid the need for dialysis (pre-emptive transplant) 

What can I expect to happen in each step?

Once you receive education, more screening and testing will be required. Some tests will take more time than others, but the tests are important in making sure you are suitable to receive a living donor kidney transplant.

For more detailed information, see Step 2: I would like to start the testing for kidney transplant (PDF).


Your kidney care team will start to talk to you about living donor outreach and the best ways to tell your story to your friends, your family, and your community. It can be challenging to reach out to people about living kidney donation. The resources below can help but it is also important to talk with your kidney care team as they can help to make the process easier.

For more detailed information, see Step 3: I am in the process of looking for a living donor (PDF).

Your kidney care team is available to support you through the pre-transplant process. They can help you reach out to potential donors but they are not involved in the donor testing and assessment process. 

Donor information is confidential therefore even if you know your donor, no information will be shared with you about which donors have registered or where they are at in the process. You will only be notified once a donor has been approved and is ready to move forward. If you have questions, you will be directed to ask your potential donor directly.

There are many resources that you can provide to potential donors which gives them information about being a kidney donor. 

If a donor is considering kidney donation, it is important that they contact the donor team at Vancouver General Hospital ( or St. Paul's Hospital ( These donor teams will register potential donors and support them along their process to see if they are suitable to be a kidney donor.

The following resources may be helpful for you and your potential donor.

For more detailed information, see Step 4: I may have identified a potential donor (PDF).

Vancouver General Hospital or St. Paul's Hospital will review test results that were completed at your local clinic. The results will help them decide whether you are suitable to proceed with the next step on the journey towards living donor kidney transplant. Your kidney care and transplant care teams will provide you with information and support you whether you continue the journey or not. Don't be afraid to reach out to them when you need them.

Your transplant team at Vancouver General Hospital or St. Paul's Hospital will determine if you are suitable for a living donor kidney transplant. There may be more testing required depending on your individual circumstances. If you are still asking yourself whether living donor kidney transplant is the best treatment option for you, please discuss with your kidney care team or transplant team, so you are aware of your options and feel confident with the final decision.

For more detailed information, see Step 6: I am done with testing and the transplant team has said I am approved for kidney transplant (PDF).

SOURCE: Living Donor Kidney Transplant ( )
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