During a Kidney Transplant | UnityPoint Health - Des Moines

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What to Expect During a Kidney Transplant | UnityPoint Health - Des Moines

During Your Kidney Transplant

Kidney transplant surgery typically takes 2-3 hours. Surgery time depends on body size, age and comorbidities (other medical problems). 

During the surgery:

  • The donor kidney will be placed in your lower abdomen.
  • The blood vessels from the donor kidney will be connected to the arteries and veins in your body.
  • The ureter from the donor kidney will be connected to your bladder. 
  • In most cases, damaged kidneys will not be removed unless necessary.

After surgery you are taken to recovery for 1-2 hours. You will feel tired and sore. There will be a catheter in your bladder to remove urine and an IV in your arm to keep you hydrated, and to give you medication. Typically, you are then transferred to our transplant floor, Younker 5 where you will receive specialized care from a transplant trained nurse for the first 24 hours.