Approximately 13 people die everyday waiting for a kidney according to the National Kidney Foundation. Choosing to donate is a tremendous decision that can ultimately save lives. The GW Transplant Institute offers living donor transplantation in which a healthy person donates one of their kidneys.

Benefits of Living Donors

Transplant patients who receive a kidney from a living donor usually spend less time on a wait list and can report better outcomes:

  • A quicker recovery time 
  • The recipient’s body is less likely to reject the organ
  • The organ may work longer compared to deceased donor transplants
  • It can minimize time spent on dialysis
  • Lower risk of harmful side effects such as bone disease, heart attack or stroke

Interested in Being a Living Donor?

Download and complete the Living Donor Kidney Medical and Behavioral Questionnaire and email to Phyllis.Snowden@gwu-hospital.com

Get the Questionnaire (PDF)

A representative from The GW Transplant Institute will contact you to schedule an appointment.

Living Donor Process and Evaluation

At the George Washington University Hospital, the kidney transplant team interviews potential living donors and performs physical examinations.

When a potential donor contacts our living donor coordinator, we complete a health screening over the phone to determine if there are obvious health issues that would preclude kidney donation. The donor then completes lab studies to confirm blood type and determine the adequacy of their kidney function. If these results are acceptable, we schedule the donor for a medical evaluation. After this, the team will determine whether an individual is a good living donor candidate.

During the transplant procedure, surgeons use a laparoscopic approach to remove the living donor’s kidney through a small incision below the belly button. This minimally invasive approach can reduce hospital stay and pain. The recipient’s insurance covers all expenses associated with living kidney donation. Typically, there is no compensation to the donor for time lost from work or costs incurred coming to and from the transplant center.

Addressing health disparities in our community

According to the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network, more than 80 percent of patients waiting for a kidney in the Washington D.C. area are minorities. The George Washington University Hospital has partnered with the National Minority Organ Tissue Transplant Education Program (MOTTEP) to address this health disparity and reduce the number of ethnic minority Americans in need of transplants.

National MOTTEP, established in 1991 by Dr. Clive Callender, has community programs focused on building relationships and strengthening community awareness of organ transplant in minority populations in Washington D.C and surrounding areas. MOTTEP also promotes healthy lifestyles to prevent chronic kidney disease.