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Welcome to the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh Transplant Unit


The Edinburgh Transplant Centre facilitates living donor kidney transplants for the East of Scotland (Edinburgh, Fife, Borders, Dundee, Aberdeen and Inverness). Donor assessments for potential donors from Edinburgh, Fife and the Borders are arranged by the living donor team in Edinburgh, who also liaise with the referring centres on their local donor work-up. The aim is to assess all donors from all the NHS Boards in a timely manner ensuring equity of access to living donor transplantation.

People interested in finding out more about living kidney donation contact the Living Donor Transplant Co-ordinator in the first instance to discuss their interest. During this phone call who they wish to donate to is established. A living donor information pack is sent to the potential donor containing written information, a DVD and a health check questionnaire which is completed and returned. The Living Donor Transplant Co-ordinator writes to the donor’s GP for relevant past medical history.

Potential donors are invited to clinic and a general health review is undertaken checking blood pressure, urine screening, height and weight check and general blood tests. A blood sample to check blood group and tissue typing is undertaken to establish if this is a direct or incompatible donation. The risks and implications of living kidney donation are explained as is the donor assessment pathway.

A day of investigations including, chest xray, ECG, CT scan, Isotope GFR and DMSA split function (to check kidney function) are carried out. A review by a nephrologist is also carried out. These results are reported and presented to the Living Donation Multidisciplinary Team. A case review of both donor and recipient is carefully assessed.

Once investigations are complete, the donor meets with a transplant surgeon in clinic where the screening results are fed back. If donor and recipient are happy to proceed an appointment is scheduled with the Human Tissue Authority assessor who meets with the pair both separately and together to ensure the donor is not under pressure to donate, that they have capacity to consent and no reward is being received.

The living donor transplant is organised and the donor can expect to be hospital for 3 to 4 days post operatively. Donors can usually have their kidney removed by laparoscopic (key hole) surgery, and they should allow at least six weeks to recover. Donors are routinely offered a review appointment and annual follow up following their donation.

Contact the team

We are more than happy to be contacted by anybody who would like further information regarding living kidney donation using the contact details below.

Tel: 0131 242 1703