What is the recovery period? When can I return to work?
Typically, a living-donor kidney is removed by laparoscopy, and the donor spends about 2 days in the hospital. The complete recovery period and time away from work depend on whether the donor experiences any problems, and the type of work he or she does. A job that is physically difficult or requires lifting more than 10 pounds will require a longer time away from work than a desk job. In most cases, when a laparoscopic procedure is used to remove the kidney, the donor can return to work in 2 weeks for a light-duty job and 3-4 weeks for a more strenuous job.
Donor Michelle (right) donated a kidney to Suzanne (left) in 2011. Michelle spent 2 days in the hospital, and within 3 weeks, she was race-walking a 14-minute mile. Three weeks later, she resumed her former running schedule of 5K every day!