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Home > Kidney & Pancreas Transplant > Living Kidney Donation Education
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For example, the life expectancy of a 30-year-old starting dialysis is 11.6 years. A 30-year-old who has a transplant before staring dialysis has a life expectancy of 25.3 years. Living donors make it possible for those in need of a transplant to receive a working kidney before starting dialysis.
There are over 57,132 people on the national waiting list for kidney transplant. Only 8,662 deceased donor transplants were performed in 2003. Unfortunately, the result is that the average person waits 3-5 years for a deceased donor transplant. Long waits use time many people can't afford to waste.
About half of all kidney donors are now living donors. This increase in living kidney donation is due in part to new technologies such as laparoscopic (scope) surgery that removes the donor kidney with smaller incisions.
Living donors can be assured that after a kidney is removed, the remaining kidney expands its function to do the work both kidneys shared before.
The cost for surgery is covered by the kidney recipient's insurance or Medicare. The donor's medical expenses directly related to the transplant are nearly always covered. Recovery time is reduced when laparoscopic surgery is used, allowing donors to return to work sooner.
Blood tests will tell if the donor's kidney is a "match" for the recipient. A complete medical evaluation assures the donor is in good physical and emotional health before becoming a donor.
Because transplantation is a planned surgery, living donors and transplant recipients are able to adjust their schedules accordingly.
In celebration of National Donate Life Month, Donate Life America (DLA) launches a new national Web site, www.donatelife.net, focusing on providing quick and easy access to state donor registries. The site features a new interactive map of the United States that links directly to state donor registration pages.
We are proud of the local and national recognition our transplant programs receive. Here you can learn about the latest Avera Transplant Institute news, accreditations and awards.
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