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Transplant Surgery and Recovery

Kidney Transplant Surgery is major surgery. Generally speaking, your surgery will be two to four hours long, although there are many factors that can affect the time required. You will be under general anesthesia.

The transplant surgeon will make an incision just above the groin on the right or left side. Your new kidney will be attached in the small of your back, below your existing kidneys. The artery and vein of the new kidney will be attached to one of your arteries and veins. The new kidney’s ureter (the tube that carries urine to the bladder) will be attached to your bladder.


Your post-operative care is very important. After your transplant, you will wake up in the Recovery Room of Crozer’s Operating Room and will then be transferred to the Step Down Unit. You will be closely monitored while in the Step Down Unit. The average stay in the unit varies but averages a few days, individualized according to your needs. Your family will be allowed to visit with you in the Step Down Unit.

Infection and rejection are serious concerns with any organ transplant. Taking precautions to prevent infection and rejection will be started as soon as you are moved to the Step Down Unit. Medications and fluid will be given to you through an IV for the first few days after your transplant. You will then learn your medications and how to care for your transplanted kidney.

The average time in the hospital after an uncomplicated kidney transplant is six to seven days.