Paired donation Overview

Doctors and surgeons in the Mayo Clinic Transplant Center conduct paired donations for selected people who need liver transplants or kidney transplants. For the paired kidney transplant programs, Mayo Clinic campuses in Arizona, Florida and Minnesota maintain shared lists to identify donors who may be compatible with other recipients for a kidney transplant. If a compatible donor is found for a recipient at a different location, doctors can perform a paired donation. The paired liver transplant programs only operate in Minnesota.

For paired donation, donors and their recipients aren't compatible for a transplant. However, the donor of each pair is compatible with the recipient of the other pair. If both donors and recipients are willing, your doctors may consider a paired donation. This program provides a way for people to receive a living-donor transplant instead of being on the deceased-donor waiting list for several years.

You're evaluated to determine if you're compatible with another donor and ready for a transplant. Your donor then gives his or her donation to the other recipient. The other recipient's donor gives his or her organ to you. Paired donation may include several pairs. In some cases of kidney transplant, the organ is removed from the donor at one Mayo Clinic site and flown to another site where the transplant takes place.

Mayo Clinic also evaluates potential individuals who wish to donate a kidney or partial liver to someone they don't know (altruistic donors). Such donors have the ability to start a transplant chain that may help several individuals in need of a transplant. Start the process by completing a Health History Questionnaire.