Living Donor Program in New Jersey | Hackensack Meridian Health   

Organ Transplant Living Donor Program

Our comprehensive living donor program offers several benefits. Kidneys from living donors last longer – almost twice as long – function better, and may take place once the donor and recipient are medically cleared.

Register to Be a Living Donor

Types of Living Donor Transplants

Types of living donor transplants can include:

  • Living donors who are biologically related to the recipient
  • Living unrelated donors, such as a spouse, friend or co-worker
  • Paired kidney donation, which involves an exchange with two or more incompatible pairs so that each recipient is matched with a compatible living donor kidney
  • ABO incompatible transplants, which may be possible if a donor can donate to someone with a different blood type
  • Altruistic or non-directed donors, are donors who come forward to donate with no intended recipient identified. They often enter the paired exchange program and start a chain of transplants.
  • Remote donation allowing a donor to be evaluated and have surgery closer to home
  • Advanced donation offers a donor the opportunity to donate within their specified timeframe and provides their recipient with a voucher for transplant when they are ready to receive it.

Who Can Donate

All living donors must:

  • Donate voluntarily
  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Be healthy with a normal kidney function

What You Can Expect

As a potential living donor, you will undergo an initial evaluation which includes:

  • Education about the process provided by our Living Donor Coordinator.
  • Blood and tissue typing to assess your compatibility with a recipient.
  • Blood and urine tests, CT scan, and cancer screening as appropriate. (People with cancer cannot donate.)
  • Meetings with the Independent Living Donor Advocate, transplant nephrologist, donor surgeon, social worker, living donor coordinator and other members of your team.
  • The Living Donor Coordinator will notify you about whether you can donate or not.
  • All testing and donor information are kept confidential. No information will be shared with the recipient unless you disclose information to him/her of your own accord.
  • We will thoroughly explain any medical, surgical, and psychosocial risks associated with the procedure. As with any major surgery, there is always risk involved, although the risk of major and long-term health problems for kidney donors is minimal.

During Your Procedure

If you are cleared to donate, we will schedule a surgery date for you, as well as pre surgical testing two weeks before the operation.

  • The surgery takes three to four hours and is performed through one large and three small incisions in your abdomen.
  • You will spend one to two hours in the recovery room after the operation.

After the Procedure

  • Though your care plan will be individualized to you, generally after the procedure you can anticipate:
  • Expect to stay in the hospital for one to two days. Complete recovery may take four to six weeks.
  • Depending on your job, you may return to work in four to six weeks (lifting is restricted for eight weeks)
  • You will not be permitted to drive for seven to 10 days (until your staples are removed).
  • You will see your donor surgeon for a follow-up visit seven to 10 days after the operation. The Living Donor Coordinator will coordinate the remainder of your follow-up care.
  • There is no cost to the donor. Donor evaluation, testing, and surgery are covered by the recipient’s insurance.

Organ Transplant and Living Donor at Hackensack University Medical Center- A Father and Son Story

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Why Choose Hackensack Meridian Health for Organ Transplantation


The Organ Transplantation Division at Hackensack University Medical Center is one of the leading transplant centers in the New York/New Jersey metropolitan area.

Shorter Wait

Our Kidney Transplant Program is among the fastest-growing in the nation. Through the use of advanced donor/recipient matching techniques, we have the shortest deceased donor wait times in the tri-state area.


Hackensack University Medical Center is the first hospital in New Jersey to develop an organ preservation center for organ transplantation using the LifePort Kidney Transporter to increase a kidney’s viability and lifespan.

Organ Transplant
Our Doctors

Comprehensive services, the latest surgical approaches and seamlessly managed patient care by our team of transplant experts.

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