In today’s world, someone can wait for a kidney for nearly four years. For this reason, many people are donating their kidney to an unknown recipient to help the cause. To donate a kidney you need to have good health and at least 18 years of age, according to WebMD. A donor cannot have diabetes, high blood pressure or other health disorders.

Upon making your decision to donate, you will have blood drawn to assess your blood type and other genetic information. The same tests will be performed seven to 10 days prior to removal surgery. A donor and recipient must have compatible blood types. Once a recipient is matched with you, you will meet with social workers to discuss time off of work, the recovery process and other important information.

You will then meet with a doctor to have your kidneys more directly assessed. The evaluation includes lab tests, a physical exam, and other tests to make sure you are suitable for donation. They may perform a CT scan to better assess your kidneys as well.

The surgery for removing a kidney is much improved with today’s technology, WebMD explains. The scar is small due to larascopy, so recovery time is shorter and you are able to leave the hospital in fewer days.

WebMD states that donating a kidney does not affect your ability to get pregnant or father a child, and after a short recovery period you are able to resume all activities you participated in prior to donation. All medical costs are covered by the recipient’s medical insurance or Medicare.