Kidney Transplant Surgery

If you or a loved one needs a kidney transplant, you're in excellent hands at Memorial Transplant Institute. Our kidney transplant team has a combined 30 years of experience performing complex kidney transplant surgeries.

At Memorial, our minimally invasive approach to transplant surgery and our attentive follow-up care mean you can enjoy a fuller, more active life sooner after surgery. See what else makes Memorial Transplant Institute's kidney transplant program stand out.

Kidney Transplant Surgery: What to Expect

The idea of getting transplant surgery can be overwhelming, which is why we go out of our way to address any questions or concerns you have at any point along the way. Our team is committed to providing you with the best possible care as well as with the support and information you need to feel as comfortable as possible.

Here's what to expect:

Before surgery

You'll first go through a comprehensive evaluation that assesses your physical and emotional health. If our care team determines that kidney transplantation could benefit you, we then discuss your donor matching options. Patients with a suitable living kidney donor can get transplanted within months. We add all eligible patients to the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) kidney transplant list, which matches organs from deceased donors with individuals based on the severity of their condition. The healthier you are heading into surgery, the more likely the surgery will be a success. Learn more about how you can optimize your health while waiting for a kidney transplant.

Time of surgery

Patients who are receiving an organ from a living donor will come to the hospital at the same time as the donor. We will schedule surgery at a time that's convenient for both donor and recipient. If you are receiving a kidney from a deceased donor, your transplant coordinator will call you when a kidney from a suitable donor becomes available. This call could come at any time, day or night.

Preparing for surgery

Your care team will give you specific instructions to prepare you for surgery. You may be asked not to eat or drink after a certain time on the day before surgery.

Arriving for surgery

Your care team will tell you precisely where to go on the day of surgery. When you come to Memorial Transplant Institute, clear signage, valet parking and our friendly team members all help to make the transplantation process easier for you and your family.

During transplant surgery

Kidney transplant surgery generally lasts 2 to 4 hours. Our care team uses general anesthesia, so you are asleep and pain-free during the whole procedure. During kidney transplant surgery, a surgeon will:

  1. Make a tiny incision near your groin, or lower abdomen
  2. Place the donor kidney inside your body, in most cases leaving your failing kidney in place
  3. Connect the healthy kidney to necessary blood vessels and other structures
  4. Close up the incision

Kidney transplant recovery

After surgery, we'll move you to a room on our dedicated transplant floor. Our care team will monitor you closely until your new kidney starts working effectively.

Your new kidney may start working right away or within a few days. You can expect to stay in the hospital for at least four to five days. Learn more about what to expect during kidney transplant recovery.

Hospital discharge

Before you go home, our transplant team will sit with you to explain everything you need to know about taking excellent care of yourself and your new donor kidney moving forward. We will:

  • Explain the important medications you need to take
  • Help you manage any pain or discomfort
  • Tell you what signs warrant a call to your transplant coordinator or doctor
  • Give you an educational booklet, so you have all of this information nearby once you're home

Your life after kidney transplantation will change in many ways, from the kind of medical care you need to your energy levels and so much more. Start preparing yourself for what's to come by learning about our resources for patients and families. You can also read our kidney transplant caregiver tips.

Learn More About Adult Kidney Transplant

We are always just a phone call away. You can learn more about our customized adult kidney transplant care by calling us anytime at 954-265-7450.

Learn More About Pediatric Kidney Transplant

If you believe your child may benefit from a kidney transplant, we want to hear from you. You can learn more about our personalized pediatric kidney transplant care by calling us anytime at 954-265-7450.