Living related donor (LRD) nephrectomies are controversial due to the risks to the donor and improved cadaveric graft survival using cyclosporine A. Between December 22, 1970, and December 31, 1984, 1096 renal transplants were performed at a single institution, 314 (28.6%) from LRD. The average age was 34.3 years (range: 18-67); none had preoperative hypertension. All nephrectomies were performed transabdominally. Major perioperative complications occurred in 22 (7.0%). These include wound infections (3.5%), pancreatitis (1.0%), injuries to spleen (1.0%) or adrenal gland (0.3%) requiring removal, pneumonitis (0.6%), ulnar nerve palsy (0.6%), femoral artery thrombosis after arteriogram (0.3%), pulmonary embolus (0.3%), and upper pole infarct of contralateral kidney (0.3%). There are six known deaths in this series, none of which were related to the operation. Major late complications were seen in 50 (20.0%) of 250 patients followed for 6 to 175 months (mean 53.1 months). These included definite hypertension (5.6%), suture granuloma (4.4%), incisional hernia (3.6%), proteinuria (2.4%), bowel obstruction (2.0%), nephrolithiasis (1.2%), wound infection (0.4%), scrotal hydrocele (0.4%), and chronic pancreatitis (0.4%). While the risk of hypertension appears to increase as the interval from donation increases, no cases of renal failure after donation have been noted, and negligible proteinuria among those followed long-term has been seen in this series. It is felt that living related kidney donation is justified when the relative is sincerely motivated and well informed prior to donation.