What happens during the kidney transplant operation?

Kidney transplantation involves placing a healthy kidney into the body where it can perform all the functions that a failing kidney cannot.

The new kidney is placed on the lower right or left side of your abdomen where it is surgically connected to nearby blood vessels. Placing the kidney in this position allows it to be easily connected to blood vessels and the bladder. The vein and artery of your new kidney are attached to your vein and artery. The new kidney’s ureter is attached to your bladder to allow urine to pass out of your body. The surgery takes about three to four hours. After the operation, you will go to the recovery room, and later to the Surgical Intensive Care Unit where you will stay for 24 hours. After you are stable and awake from anesthesia, you will be moved to a nursing unit that specializes in the care of post-op kidney transplant patients.

Haisch, Carl E., MD
Harland, Robert C., MD
Morgan, Claire, MD