What to Expect - Kidney Transplant and Dialysis Access
We successfully complete hundreds of kidney transplant surgeries each year. Our outcomes are excellent for recipients and for living donors.
The Kidney Transplant Surgery Procedure
You need to be prepared to come to the hospital right away if we call to let you know that we have found a donor kidney for you.
Kidney transplantation surgery takes anywhere from 3 to 8 hours, plus preparation time. The transplant involves the following steps:
- When an organ becomes available, your nurse coordinator will immediately call you to check in to the hospital.
- At the hospital, we will complete some final tests to make sure you are ready. These might include a physical exam, blood work, X-rays, an EKG or other tests to make sure you do not have an infection or other issue that could cause problems with the transplant.
- In the operating room, we gently put you to sleep with anesthesia and prepare for surgery.
- The surgeons will make an incision on the lower abdomen, just above your groin. They place the donor kidney.
- After the surgeons close the incision, you will move to recovery, where we carefully monitor you as you wake up and your new kidney continues to function.
The process is similar for patients who receive a living donor kidney transplant.
After Kidney Transplant Surgery
After your transplant, you and your caregivers need to learn how to protect your new kidney, recognize signs of rejection and live a healthy lifestyle to support your new organ.
In general, you can expect that after your transplant:
- You will go home about 3 days after surgery.
- We will see you weekly or biweekly for the first 1 to 2 weeks after surgery. At these visits, we will do outpatient testing, including blood work, to check for possible infection, organ rejection or recurrence of viral hepatitis.
- Appointments will gradually become less frequent as you transition from someone with end-stage renal disease to someone with a functioning kidney.
- We will refer you back to your primary care physician for routine healthcare. We will coordinate with your physician as needed.
- Your post-transplant nurse coordinator is always available to answer transplant-related questions.
Learn more about what to expect after the transplant.
For additional information about our kidney transplant program or to speak to someone about becoming a living kidney donor, please call 1-410-328-5408 or 1-800-492-5538.
If you are interested in becoming a living kidney donor, please download our questionnaire.
For Referring Physicians
To refer a patient or get more information, please call 1-800-373-4111. A physician service representative from Consultation and Referral Services will direct your call to the appropriate physician or department.
For more details, please visit our section for referring physicians.