Kidney Transplant Surgery and Recovery
During the transplant operation – which typically takes three to four hours – your surgical team will place the carefully evaluated donor kidney into your body. The transplanted kidney will be connected to the appropriate arteries, veins, and the ureter, the tube that carries urine to the bladder.
Typically, only one kidney is transplanted, since only one kidney is needed to gain normal function. Your diseased kidney(s) usually are not removed.
Most patients stay in the hospital for four to seven days after the transplant surgery. The new kidney usually begins working during this time, although in some cases dialysis is necessary until that happens.
Patients typically have returned to normal, active lives within six weeks after their kidney transplants.
Kidney transplant recipients must take immunosuppressing drugs for the rest of their lives; maintain proper weight and blood pressure; eat a diet low in cholesterol and sugar; forego smoking and alcohol; and see their transplant team regularly.oking and alcohol; and see their transplant team regularly.