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        BENEFITS                                                 operation try to ensure that this risk is made as
        ● A potential donor is likely to have experienced        small as possible.
           some changes to their own lifestyle due to a       ● The removal of a kidney involves a rather more
           family member’s illness (e.g., as a sibling these     difficult and uncomfortable operation than
           could include greater domestic responsibilities).     the transplant operation. It involves a degree of
           A successful kidney transplant may mean the           post-operative pain and discomfort which can be
           balance of roles/ responsibilities change in a        partly controlled by painkillers. The potential
           positive way in a family, when a formerly ill         donor should keep in mind that they are likely to
           person may be able to contribute more to family       feel less well than the recipient in the first few
           life.                                                 weeks after the operation.
        ● Spousal transplantation offers the potential for    ● The tests involved in the process could reveal an
           considerable improvement in quality of life for       abnormality or health problem that the donor
           both parties;  if the transplant is a success         was unaware of before volunteering as a
           spouses and families are free of the burden of        potential living donor.
                                                              ● After the operation, the donor may experience
        ● The main benefit of donating a kidney is               a sense of anti-climax and may be at a
           purely an emotional or psychological one.             slightly higher risk of depression, particularly
           The sense of satisfaction, at giving a loved          if he or she or the recipient has post-operative
           one a kidney, can sometimes be thoroughly             problems.
           rewarding for the donor.
                                                              ● An emotional difficulty for the donor may be the
                                                                 worry around how they will face their future with
        RISKS                                                    one kidney; the donor may worry that they do
        ● Approximately one in eight donors who                  not have the ‘assurance’ of the second, in case of
           come forward to be tested will be considered          serious accidents or illness.
           suitable as an actual donor. Donors who have
           gone through testing and found to be unsuitable    ● The risk of the surgery not working out needs to
                                                                 be seriously considered. As we know, no matter
           may be left feeling helpless and disappointed.
                                                                 how many tests are undertaken beforehand,
        ● Any patient who has a general anaesthetic or a         there is  still a risk that the transplanted
           major operation runs a slight risk of problems,       kidney will fail and the recipient will have to
           though the tests that are done before the             return to dialysis.

                                                              ● Young women need to consider if they should
                                                                 postpone being a kidney donor until after they
        ● One of the most common emotional                       have had their family. There is evidence that
           challenges a recipient may face is fear –             women who have donated a kidney are more
           particularly fear that the transplant will            likely to have high blood pressure or pre-
           not work out. This can be especially                  eclampsia     in   subsequent      pregnancies.
           difficult for recipients as they are aware that       Nonetheless most kidney donors will have
           the donor has made a sacrifice on their               successful pregnancies after donating a kidney.
           behalf. By discussing these issues as openly       ● There is a possibility that, as a result of tissue
           as possible, difficult situations such as the
                                                                 type testing, we will discover that one of your
           transplant not working out can be handled in          parents or other potential donors is not in fact
           a sensitive and supportive way by all
                                                                 your blood relative. You need to think about how
                                                                 you could cope with this news before you embark
                                                                 on becoming a living kidney donor.

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