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To Know Your Treatment Options / Step 4: Receiving a Kidney Transplant & Managing Your Care

Receiving a Kidney Transplant and Managing Your Care

Your dialysis team will support you in keeping yourself healthy and prepared for your surgery when your donor is found. Your healthcare team will also work with your family and your primary care providers to ensure that everything has been planned and put into place for your post-surgery recovery.


Before Surgery

  • You are advised to follow your doctor’s recommendations in terms of staying healthy 
  • You are advised to bring a hospital bag ready as well as arrangements to and from the hospital
  • You will go under general anesthesia so that you are not awake during the procedure 

During Surgery

  • The surgeon makes an incision in the lower part of one side of the abdomen and places the new kidney in
  • The blood vessels of the new kidneys are attached to the lower abdomen blood vessels (above the legs) 
  • The new kidney’s ureter (tube that connects the kidneys to the bladder) is connected

After Surgery

  • You will spend several days in the hospital after surgery so doctors and nurses can monitor the transplant and watch for any signs of complications 
  • your transplanted kidney may take some time to begin working, so you may need dialysis until your transplanted kidney starts working
  • Some soreness and pain should be expected at the site of the incision 
  • You can typically return to work 8 weeks following the surgery 
  • It is recommended that you avoid lifting objects weighing more than 10 pounds or doing exercise beyond walking until their wound heals (typically 6 weeks post-surgery)
  • Even after you leave the hospital, close monitoring in the following weeks is still important
    • i.e. blood tests several times a week, adjustments to medications accordingly 
    • During this time, staying near the transplant center is necessary
  • There are several medications you will have to take long term
    • These are mainly antirejection medications which prevent your body from rejecting the kidney 
    • Additional drugs may reduce the risk of infection or any other complications

While this website provides strong foundation importation about kidney transplants. An essential step in the informed decision making process is speaking with your physician, nephrologist and multidisciplinary team to discuss the option best suited for you. We believe that this website will allow you to approach this conversation with confidence.