Living Organ Donations

Living Kidney Donation

The demand for transplant organs far exceeds the supply of available organs.

Because of this, our transplant program offers living donations as an option for kidney and liver transplants. (Living donations are not an option for pancreas, heart or lung transplants.)

What is a Living Donor?

A living donor is someone who donates an organ or part of an organ to another person. Living donors can include relatives, friends, coworkers, spouses or anonymous donors.

Are You Eligible to Donate?
Living Liver Donation

You must meet minimum requirements before an evaluation at UVA:

  • Excellent general health
  • Donor age: Kidney: 18-70 years; Liver: 18-60 years

The evaluation itself takes 8-10 weeks. As a potential donor, you:

  • Undergo a medical exam with blood and urine tests, X-rays and CT scans, psychological evaluation
  • Receive the support of an independent team of nurses, a social worker, nutritionists, pharmacists, a medical doctor and a surgeon

What Does it Cost?

Living donation doesn’t cost anything for the donor. Our team will identify ways to offset any costs you may face, identifying grants and other funds. 

You would only need to cover travel expenses and whatever work hours lost.

How a Living Liver Donation Works

Unclear how a living organ donation works? Learn about the process for both the liver donor and recipient. View Transcript.

What Donors Need to Know
Questions? Call us

Our First Commitment: Donor Health

The decision to be a living donor is a selfless act. Our Donor Evaluation Team includes a social worker, an independent living donor advocate and psychologists who work with donors to ensure their well-being.

We carefully screen all potential donors to ensure they are physically and psychologically healthy and know the risks and benefits of organ donation. And we continue to innovate the process to make it as safe and simple as possible.

Making Surgery Safer & Simpler

When possible, we offer minimally invasive surgery options that result in shortened recovery times and faster healing. These include:

  • Laparoscopic surgery — using a small video camera and very thin surgical tools, your surgeon only needs to make small incisions to remove the kidney
  • Robot-assisted surgery — this technology expands the surgeon's ability to perform small, precise movements

Expanding Eligibility

We also now perform living donor transplants even when the donor and recipient are blood type-incompatible or recipients are cross-match positive. These types of transplants were unavailable in the past.

Broadening the Donor Pool

Paired donor exchanges ensure people get the organs they need to live, sooner. A friend or family member who wants to donate a kidney to a loved one but isn’t a match for the recipient can instead be paired with another matching recipient. The original patient in need of an organ is also matched with a willing donor. This process expands our team’s ability to find a match between donors and recipients.

 

Donate a Kidney
A donated kidney recipient

At UVA, we performed our first living kidney donation in 1969, so you can trust we have the experience to care for you while you care for someone else.

Kidney Donor Sign-Up
Living Liver Donation
Living liver donation helps patient families like this one.

Living donor liver transplants have been performed here at UVA since 1999. When you donate part of your liver, we support and care for you with experience you can trust.

Liver Donor Sign-Up
Donate Stem Cells
stem cell researcher

Recognized by the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP), we help you donate bone marrow or stem cells to save the life of someone with critical illnesses like leukemia and lymphoma. 

Bone Marrow Donation Sign-Up