During surgery

  • The nurse will place a Foley catheter in your bladder to collect urine while you are asleep.
  • The surgeon will make an incision in your side (usually the left side). The incision is about six to eight inches long.
  • The surgeon will place the new kidney in the lower right or left side of your abdomen. Your own kidneys will stay in place unless there is a medical reason to have it removed.
  • The surgeon will stitch your incisions and cover them with Steri-Strips® (thin paper strips).
  • The surgery takes about two hours.

After surgery

Your diseased kidney(s) will likely stay in place after surgery.
  • You will be connected to many tubes, the Foley catheter in your bladder, IV lines in your hand or arm, and a heart monitor.
  • You will have a sequential compression device/ Plexi-Pulse® machine to help prevent blood clots. Plastic leggings are attached to a small machine that pumps air into air pockets in the wraps. Air is pumped in and then released. This pumping action, repeated during the day or night, helps improve circulation.
  • You will be taken to the recovery room. Nurses will monitor you.
  • You will be asked to cough and take deep breaths often to help keep your lungs clear.
  • Your surgeon will talk with your family.
  • Once you are settled in your room, family and friends may visit.
  • You will be up and walking as soon as possible to help your circulation. You will have special stockings (TED®) to wear.

Source: Allina Health Patient Education, Kidney Transplant Information for Recipients and Donors, renal_ahc_93498
Reviewed By: Allina Patient Education experts, including the Transplantation Department of Abbott Northwestern Hospital
First Published: 05/15/2009
Last Reviewed: 05/15/2009