Surgery for either recipient or donor can take three to four hours. Surgery usually requires no blood products for either recipient or donor. The transplanted kidney is placed in the lower abdomen and the native kidneys remain in place.
Recipients who have living donors are scheduled at the same time for surgery and come to the transplant center one to two weeks prior to their surgery for the preoperative labs, education and preparation.
Recipients who are on the UNOS waiting list will be called and given instructions from the on-call coordinator as to how to proceed (i.e., no eating or drinking, whether to wait at home or come into the hospital, recent illness, last dialysis, current PRA sample in lab for final crossmatch test, etc.).
Potential surgical complications can include technical complications, bleeding, wound infection and risks associated with anesthesia.
Hospitalization stays for uncomplicated transplantations range from two to three days.