To determine the consequences of living-related kidney donation, a study was conducted of 536 donors whose nephrectomies had been performed at nine geographically dispersed centers during the past 12 years. The data demonstrated that greater than 84.0% of the donors thought they had been adequately informed regarding all aspects of donation, and less than 15.0% reported being pressured in their decision. Only two serious medical complications were directly attributable to the surgery, greater than 92.0% of the donors believed their health had not been adversely affected by donation, and 96.8% reaffirmed their decision regardless of the graft's success or the financial distress they experienced (P greater than .05). However, greater than 14.0% experienced direct pressure, particularly not to donate. Donation also appeared to stress previously troubled marriages, especially among donors without a religious affiliation, who were pressured to donate by their families, or who borrowed from family members (P less than .05). Substantial unreimbursed expenses (greater than or equal to $1,000) were incurred by 43 donors, and 23.2% of all donors reported that donation caused a financial hardship.