Urology San Antonio’s Dr. William Harmon provides kidney removal operations for healthy individuals donating one of their organs. The service is offered in association with Methodist Specialty and Transplant Hospital and the Texas Transplant Institute.
Through the Texas Transplant Institute’s shared donor program, adults who are not compatible donors for someone they know can pledge their organ to a stranger in exchange for a life-saving organ donation by an anonymous donor who is compatible with their loved one.
Surgery to remove the kidney is called a nephrectomy. Rather than removing the donor’s organ through a traditional surgical incision, most donor operations are performed laparoscopically with special instruments inserted through a few tiny incisions in the abdomen.
The recovery period for a living donor surgery is rather short. Most patients stay in the hospital one to two nights and return to normal activities in a few weeks. They will follow up with their surgeon a few weeks after surgery to ensure the incisions are healing properly and that their remaining kidney’s function remains normal.
Living with the one remaining healthy kidney does not pose a problem for healthy donors; however, you must take extra care to avoid conditions that could damage their kidney such as high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity.
How can I donate a kidney to a loved one?
To donate a kidney, you must be in good health and have normal kidney function and anatomy. Contact the Texas Transplant Institute to receive information about living donation and get started with the process.