After the transplantation, there are two challenges. First, you must manage the pain and recover. Second, you must learn to manage living with a transplanted kidney.
Will I be in pain?
Immediately following surgery, you will experience pain. We will do everything we can to make sure you are as comfortable as possible. Most transplant patients have a significant reduction in pain several weeks after surgery. Some people continue to have some discomfort for a longer time.
Where will I spend my time in the hospital?
Immediately after surgery you will be transferred to the intensive care unit. You will spend several days there as the Transplant Team monitors you very carefully.
After your stay in the intensive care unit, we will transfer you to the General Transplant Unit, where you will be instructed on how to assume responsibility for your everyday care. You will be encouraged to get out of bed at least three times a day and walk around your room and the halls. This increases your circulation and aids in healing.
What are the possible risks and complications?
You team is watching for the following possible complications:
- Delayed graft function: the transplanted kidney may not function immediately or many function for a while and then stop
- Rejection: the transplanted kidney is rejected by your body
- Blood pressure increase
- Pain or burning during urination
Please do not be scared or anxious about possible complications. Our team has many solutions for possible complications. All transplants carry risk and we will do everything we can to minimize those risks.
How long will it take to know if the new kidney is working?
Your new kidney should begin producing urine immediately. The transplant team will monitor you for any signs of complications.
What about the possible risk of infection?
Infection is always a concern following any major surgery. The transplant team will monitor you for signs and symptoms of an infection.
How long before I can leave the hospital?
Every patient is different, but most patients stay in the hospital for five days following a kidney transplant and 7-10 days following a kidney/pancreas transplant. You must remain in the local area (within two-three hours of Washington, D.C.) for four to six weeks post discharge for monitoring.