In a live donor transplant, a kidney is removed from a healthy donor. A relative or members of your immediate family usually donates the kidney because there is good chance for a better genetic match than random matching. Donors can also be friends or strangers, but blood and tissue type has to be the same as patient.
When considering the possibility of a live donor transplant, it is important to test for HLA matching. Once the healthy kidney is removed from the donor, it is immediately transplanted into your body. When transplanting from a live donor, the donor must have a compatible blood group and tissue type. Tests are completed to ensure the donor kidney is healthy and functioning normally.
After transplantation, the donor can return to normal daily activities around four weeks after surgery. Donors can still live a normal life after donating a kidney. The one kidney left behind takes the job of the two kidneys to help the body function normally.
HLA matching is a test to determine if certain proteins called antigens are found within the blood of the donor and recipient.
Antigens are markers on cells that help the body tell the difference between the self and non-self. This means that the body recognizes that something in the body is foreign and attacks itself. HLA matching is important when transplanting kidneys because it ensures that the recipient’s body doesn’t recognize it as foreign and start to attack it. This would result in rejection.