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What to Expect During and After a Kidney Transplant

Surgery 

The entire surgical procedure usually last approximately 3-4 hours.  The surgery is  performed under general anesthesia.  The surgeon will begin by making an incision into one side of your lower abdomen.   After the surgeon inspects the donor kidney, it will be placed into your abdomen and the donor kidney’s renal artery and vein will be sewn to your iliac artery and vein. Once blood is properly flowing into the new kidney, the ureter will be attached to your bladder. The surgeon will then close the site with either staples, sutures or glue.

Post operative care  

Immediately after surgery you will be taken to the ICU, usually for 24hr observation, and then transitioned to a designated transplant floor for the duration of their hospitalization(usually 4-5 days).

Outpatient Follow-up Care

Once discharged from the hospital, you will be followed very closely in our transplant clinic.  The duration and frequency of visits change over time as kidney function stabilizes and rejection and infection risks decrease.

Medications

Anti-rejection medications (also called immunosuppression medications) protect the transplanted kidney by reducing your immune systems ability to mount a response to your new kidney.  There are several anti-rejection medications available and each works in a different way to suppress the body’s immune response. Our transplant team will determine which combination of medications is right for each individual patient and may alter a medication regimen after the transplant to prevent rejection or reduce side effects.

The P/SL transplant program offers the only steroid-free protocol for kidney transplant patients in Colorado. 

We are involved in ground breaking clinical research trials.