Treatments & Procedures

More than 100,000 Americans are currently awaiting life-saving kidney transplants, and still more await living tissue and other living organ donations. At Houston Methodist J.C. Walter Jr. Transplant Center, our experience and active clinical research in advancing organ and tissue transplant procedures is extensive. Donating the gift of life to another person is a very special act and we strive to give donors the best care possible. 

If you would like to understand more about donation, please visit the Living Donor Portal or Donate Life Texas.

Your journey to becoming a living donor begins with a thorough evaluation; we will start with a series of tests and assessments to give us an accurate picture of your physical health, fitness for surgery, mental state and reasons for donating. In general, to donate an organ or tissue you must be at least 18 years old, have a compatible blood type with the recipient, be in good physical and mental health and have healthy organs or tissue to donate.

During your evaluation, you will also meet with a social worker to ensure that you and your family are emotionally prepared for the stress that often accompanies the process.

The Living Donor Transplant Surgery 
Before the surgery, your anesthesiologist will talk with you and explain what will occur during the surgery. You will be given general anesthesia so you will be asleep during the procedure. 

As the donor, you go into surgery first to make sure it is safe to remove your organ or tissue. Another team will be preparing the recipient for surgery.

This procedure is usually performed endoscopically, so recovery time is generally shorter. You will be in the operating room for three or more hours.

After the Surgery
When you wake after surgery, you will be in our transplant recovery area. We will help you manage any pain you may experience after surgery. Most patients find their pain decreases within a day or two of surgery. Getting out of bed and walking may help reduce pain.

Your stay in the hospital may last between two and three days or as long as the transplant team feels is necessary.

Going Home and Staying Healthy

As a living donor, you can expect to get back to your normal life with few medications or changes in diet or lifestyle. As a kidney donor, for example, your remaining kidney will actually grow larger and compensate for the function of the kidney you donated. You will need to avoid strenuous activity or exercise for a few weeks and you should be back to your regular activities between two and six weeks after surgery.

Our team will monitor your progress during recovery, so you must be available for clinic appointments and lab tests. To help you adjust to life with one kidney, we will work with you to create a healthy diet and exercise plan.

Patient Stories
Perhaps the best way to learn about our highly trained transplant specialists at Houston Methodist is through our patients. We invite you to read about their inspiring patient stories and their experience of being a transplant patient at Houston Methodist while learning what it is like to donate and be a recipient of a living donor. 


Our physicians specialize in living donor transplants at the following locations: