Kidney Transplant Surgery

In a living donor transplant, the donor goes to the operating room first and has the kidney removed through a minimally invasive procedure; this new technique avoids the large and painful incision needed for the open procedure. The kidney is then brought to the operating room where the recipient is waiting.

In the case of a deceased donor transplant, the Gift of Hope Organ Bank team of surgeons removes the kidneys from the deceased donor and the kidneys are then packaged on ice for transport at the appropriate medical center.

During the kidney transplant operation, an incision is typically made from the right side to below the belly button. The transplanted kidney is connected to the same blood supply from the artery that also supplies blood to the leg. The ureter, the tube that carries the urine from the kidney to the bladder, is sewn to the bladder. The entire operation can last between 2 to 4 hours.
kidney diagram 2
Diagram of recipient incision site

Evaluation After Surgery

After the transplant operation, you will be taken to the transplant intensive care unit, where a team of trained transplant specialists will take care of you. You will meet physicians, nurses, pharmacists, residents, and social workers - all of which specialize in transplant care. While you are in the hospital, you will be watched closely. We will be teaching you how to care for yourself and your kidney. During this time nurses also will check your vitals, measure fluid intake and urine output and collect specimens, check your weight daily, and draw blood for testing.