What to Do Before a Living Donation

Being a living donor is a large decision and one that takes some planning since it will be a surgery. One that can often be traumatic in one sense to the body and emotionally it may have a different effect because the organ will be helping another person. There are some things that will need to be done before the actual surgery once all of the testing has been done that proves a match to the person who will receive the organ.

The first thing that should be done is to keep a tablet or journal handy to write down any questions to ask the doctor and surgeon. This may include what needs to be done prior to the surgery, the recovery time and how soon regular activities can be done including returning to work.

Items to Avoid Near Surgery

Generally, prior to surgery for at least a week, the physician will have the donor stop taking any non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen, aspirin, or naproxen. If the donation is a liver transplant and the donor is a woman, the doctor will most likely want birth control pills stopped a month prior to surgery. Herbals that are taken should also be stopped unless the physician says otherwise because it can affect the donor during or after surgery.

  • The donor and the person getting the organ should stop smoking at least 4 to 6 weeks prior to the surgery. Smoking can create problems after surgery including pneumonia and heart issues.
  • People who exercise can continue their routine, with the exception of lifting heavy weights since this can affect the liver or veins if a strain occurs.

Before the Surgery

Prior to surgery as a donor, it is possible to donate up to 2 pints of blood in case a transfusion is necessary.

Written directions are usually provided that will explain nothing other than clear liquids should be consumed after noon the day before the surgery. This will help to prevent nausea or vomiting during or after the surgery. The surgeon may list in this documentation to shower using an antibacterial soap the day of the surgery.

Donating an organ or partial organ in the case of a liver transplant is a gift for the person receiving the organ. It is also essential to ensure before going under this type of surgery every question is answered so the donor can go into this situation completely prepared.

Ready to get started? Become an organ donor today.