What To Expect With Your Kidney Transplant

Once you have reached the day of your kidney transplant, the concerns and worries can start to sneak up on you. While any procedure brings about anxiety, you can feel more confident with having insight into what the day looks like. It is essential to go to a source you can trust so as not to get information that does not tell the whole story. 

The staff at Durham Nephrology is well-versed in kidney transplants and ensures our patients leave as comfortable as possible after a successful procedure. We are always open to answering your questions and not letting you go into any situation without the proper preparation. 

The Day Of Your Kidney Transplant 

Before The Procedure 

Before you are ever considered for a kidney transplant, you must go through the process of finding a donor. This donor can be alive or deceased, related or unrelated to you. The team assigned to your case goes through a series of characteristics the donor must have to align with your needs. This includes blood typing, tissue typing, and a crossmatch

While your medical team is working hard preparing to find the ideal kidney, you can help your situation by remaining healthy and active before the procedure. Any changes in your health are essential to disclose so your medical team has all the information they need to succeed. In the case of a kidney donation, you must stay alert that the transplant team needs to be able to contact you. 

During The Procedure 

The kidney transplant procedure occurs while you are under anesthesia. During this time, your team monitors the blood pressure, heart rate, and blood-oxygen levels. Your surgeon will make an incision in the lower part of one side of the abdomen, where they place the new kidney in the body. At this time, your old kidneys will only be removed if they are causing complications such as kidney stones or infection. 

From there, the surgeon must attach the blood vessels of the new kidney to blood vessels in the lower part of the abdomen. These are usually located above one of your legs. After this, the ureter of the new kidney is connected to your bladder. The surgery tends to take between two and four hours to complete. 

After The Procedure 

Due to the intensity of a kidney transplant procedure, you will have to spend days and even possibly weeks in the hospital after. Your doctors and nurses will monitor your condition, looking for signs of possible complications. While eventually, the new kidney will help you make urine as the old kidneys did, this can take some time and may require a return to dialysis in the meantime. 

Once you are out of the hospital, it commonly takes about eight weeks before you can return to work and normal activities. However, you will have many checkups during this time to ensure everything is going smoothly. While you will reach the point of recovery, there are medications you will have to take for the rest of your life to keep your immune system from attacking or rejecting the new kidney. 

Even the basics of a kidney transplant may not seem all that easy to understand. There is a lot that goes into a medical procedure of this caliber. The day of your kidney transplant is likely one you will never forget. That being said, going into it with expectations can be helpful for your overall emotional feelings about the situation. With a team you can trust, those feelings of worry do not have to remain for long. Contact Durham Nephrology today to get your journey started. We are here for you along the way. Check out our website or give us a call at (919) 477-3005 for more information. 


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