Kidney Donation

Kidney DonationKidney Donation

An Overview of the Recipient’s Surgery


Are you interested in a kidney donation? Undergoing surgery, particularly offering a kidney donation and transplant, can be an overwhelming experience. Aside from worrying about possible risks and complications, the anxiety of the actual surgery can really make you feel uneasy.

To help address your concerns, here’s a brief overview of what you should and shouldn’t expect if you’re scheduled for a transplant:

  • Once you receive a confirmation call from the kidney transplant center about your surgery, it’s recommended that you stop eating or drinking right away. This is a common preparation for all patients who will be undergoing an operation.
  • Upon arrival to the hospital, you should expect another round of tests and laboratory examinations to make sure that there aren’t any infections or medical conditions that can complicate the surgery.
  • After you’ve been cleared, physical preparations will be done. This usually includes the administration of enema and laxatives to clear out your digestive track. Shaving of the area can also be carried out to limit the chances of infection.
  • An intravenous line will be started. This is where fluids and prophylactic antibiotics will be given. If needed, this intravenous line will also serve as the main line for blood transfusion.

Because anxiety is a common reaction of transplant patients, and a sedative is often ordered to help them calm down. As for the actual surgery, you will be placed under general anesthesia, which means you’ll be asleep throughout the surgery. The whole operation is expected to last for around 3 hours, but of course this depends on each patient.

After surgery, pain should be expected. To ensure your comfort, however, an analgesic will be administered to you. Aside from the pain, you should also expect to wake up to an intact intravenous line, a Foley catheter for your urine and a possible drain in the surgical area.

You may need to spend several days to a full week in the hospital for close monitoring and recovery. After you’ve been discharged, you need to strictly adhere to your check up schedule so your doctors will know right away if there’s any transplant reactions.

Most doctors advise their patients to take an immunosuppressive drug after surgery to limit reactions. Usually, this medication is a life-long commitment. Because you’ll be lowering your immune response, you’ll also be more at risk for infections and other disease. To ensure your optimum health, you may also be required to take antiviral and antibacterial medications.

If the transplant fails, you can either choose to stick with hemodialysis or go for another round of transplant surgery. There is also the option to deny further treatments. Whatever you choose, make sure that you consider your health, your capability to undergo another surgery and the right kidney donation source.