The donor source for a kidney can be either living or dead.
1. Living Donor
Any individual between 18-60 years of age can be a donor. Donors don’t need to be genetically related. All that is required is a perfect match between the kidneys of the donor and the recipient.
Besides this, the blood group and the tissue type of the donor and the recipient should be compatible and all cross match tests should be negative.
In case the blood group and the tissue type are incompatible, then kidney exchange, also known as Paired Donation is done where in the donor and the recipient are paired with another donor and recipient who too are incompatible with each other.
2. Deceased Donor
Deceased Donors can be classified into two categories:
1. Brain-dead Donors and
2. Donation after Cardiac Death donors
A Brain-dead/Beating-heart donor’s heart pumps blood to maintain the circulation. This helps surgeons to operate while blood is being delivered to the rest of the body. “Donation after Cardiac Death” donors are operated immediately after death to recover the organ.
Legal documentation is required for both the donor and recipient.
If a recipient is unable to find or get a donor, he/she must seek immediate help from the authorized organizations that collect and curate data about potential donors by registering himself/herself with the respective organization. Such organizations can help the recipient find a suitable donor within the stipulated time frame.
Though in a majority of cases the donor might go on to lead a healthy life, there can be a few complications in some circumstances. The living donor might suffer from side effects, which include internal bleeding, chronic pain, hernia, hypertension, cardiac problems, infections, obesity, nerve damage and pancreatitis.
The cost of a kidney transplant surgery ranges from INR 5,00,000 to 7,00,000 in Indian hospitals, depending on the procedure to be carried out and the availability of kidney donor.