Our UHN programs and services are among the most advanced in the world. We have grouped our physicians, staff, services and resources into 10 medical programs to meet the needs of our patients and help us make the most of our resources.
University Health Network is a health care and medical research organization in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The scope of research and complexity of cases at UHN has made us a national and international source for discovery, education and patient care.
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Many patients currently on the wait list for a deceased donor kidney have a long and difficult road ahead. Living donation offers a shorter pathway to transplantation.
Learn more about the Kidney Transplant Program at UHN and your options.
#GiveLifeUHN: Back on Life's Path
Learn more about our Kidney Transplant Program.
Learn more about what to expect:
Contact the Centre for Living Organ DonationPhone: 416 340 firstname.lastname@example.org
STEP 1: To apply to become a potential living donor,
Living Donor Health History Form .
STEP 2: Submit the completed form in person, by email, mail or fax. All mailing information is on the form.
STEP 3: Our Living Kidney Donor Assessment Office
will call you once we have reviewed your health history form. Please review the
Living Donor Manual prior to the call and consider registering for one of our
For a comprehensive list of helpful resources that will guide you through your donor journey as well as articles and videos on living organ donation, visit our
We believe that becoming a living donor must always be a voluntary choice, one that you make without pressure from others. Knowing the facts will help you decide if this option is the right choice for you.
Is it safe?
Since 1969, over 1,600 living kidney donor transplants have been performed at UHN. All donors have returned to their regular lifestyle with no restrictions.
Do I get paid for being a donor?
There is no monetary compensation for organ donation. There is a reimbursement program called
Program for Reimbursing Expenses of Living Organ Donors (PRELOD) funded by the Trillium Gift of Life Network. PRELOD may pay for potential expenses that happen during the evaluation process. During your preliminary appointment, a transplant assessment coordinator will talk to you about the PRELOD reimbursement program and how to apply for it.
When can the living donor evaluation begin?
Once the recipient is listed for transplant at UHN, the living kidney donor program will begin evaluating applications from donors. If you would like to know more about the criteria used to determine whether a patient may be referred for a transplant assessment or listed for kidney transplant surgery, please visit our
Can I schedule an appointment to start my living kidney donor evaluation?
The first step to determine your suitability is to complete a
donor health history form . This information will be reviewed by the kidney donor team and your suitability will be determined. The kidney donor coordinator will contact you once the health history has been reviewed to discuss the next step.
Why am I not being evaluated right away as a potential donor?
The living kidney donor program only evaluates one donor at a time because of the costs to the health care system. The pace of the donor evaluation is driven by donor safety and the time needed to obtain fully informed consent from the donor.
What if I am having doubts about donating?
It is important that you take the time to learn about the risks and benefits of living kidney donation and think about your decision carefully.
If you decide to end a donor work-up process, the specific reason for ending your work up will be kept confidential. The recipient will only be told that you are medically unsuitable for donation. You may wish to tell the recipient of your choice yourself or you can ask your transplant coordinator to tell the recipient that your work up has been closed.
Why not just go on the waiting list for a kidney from a deceased donor?
There are many advantages to a living kidney donation over a deceased kidney donation. For one, the waiting time is much shorter and the transplant date is planned ahead, allowing time for both the donor and recipient to get ready for the surgery. Furthermore, a kidney removed from a living donor is generally healthier than one removed from a deceased donor, and usually begins to function right after the transplant operation. This contributes to a better long-term success rate than deceased donor kidney transplants.
Are there certain medical conditions that wouldn't allow me to donate?
There are strict criteria that you must meet in order to be a donor. This means that there are certain medical conditions that would not allow you to be a donor, such as if you have high blood pressure, a heart condition, a certain chronic illness or multiple kidney stones (this list is not complete). For your safety, it is essential that you make sure you tell your transplant coordinator about any health issues or concerns you may have.
How long does a living donor kidney transplant last?
You should know as a potential donor that a living donor kidney transplant usually lasts 15 to 20 years and therefore some recipients may need another transplant later on in life.
Are there precautions that I should take before donating my kidney?
There is a risk that a donor can carry or become infected with a virus after the time of final blood testing and just before the living donor surgery. Donors are asked to reduce the risk of viral transmission at the time of surgery by taking the following measures:
It should be noted that the results of viral testing for viruses like the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) and cytomegalovirus (CMV) will be shared with the recipient team for safety reasons. If viral illnesses are discovered, the donor will be asked for consent prior to this information being shared with the recipient team. Without sharing this information, the kidney donation cannot occur.
Can I speak with someone who has undergone the living donor process?
If you wish to speak with someone who has undergone the living kidney donor process, please let the Living Kidney Donor Assessment Office know and we will arrange an opportunity to speak with one of our past donors. You can also email
How long will it take for the surgery to be scheduled?
The transplant will be scheduled once the donor and recipient are both cleared by their own transplant teams. Based on the outcome of the tests and consults, the surgery may take a minimum of 3-6 months or longer before it can be scheduled.
I am not blood group compatible with my intended recipient. Can I still be assessed as a living kidney donor?
Yes, please submit a completed kidney
donor health history form . A kidney donor coordinator will contact you to discuss our
Specialized Transplant Programs , including the Desensitization Program for kidney recipients and Paired Kidney Donation or List Exchange Program for living donors.
During the evaluation process can I withdraw from being a living donor?
Yes, you can withdraw from the evaluation process without any explanation.
How will I know if live donation is right for me?
You will meet with members of the living donor team. We will talk to you about donation to make sure you are well informed about this option. Donor safety is our foremost concern. We also need to know that donors are choosing this freely without pressure. You or the donor team may decide that being a living donor is not in your best interest. All meetings with the donor team will be private. The person who needs the transplant will only know if the donor is suitable or unsuitable. No other information about the assessment will be shared.
What if my recipient is in need of urgent care?
For the UHN living donor program, the donor’s safety is the priority; the program
does not does not prioritize on recipient urgency.
I would like more information about being a living kidney donor?
Please call the living kidney donor assessment office for more information at 416 340 4800 ext. 4848