The day of your child's kidney transplant

If your child is receiving a kidney from a living donor, the surgery will be scheduled in advance.  

If your child is receiving a kidney from a deceased donor, you will be called and admitted when a kidney is available.  

What to bring to the hospital 

You should expect six-week stay at minimum. Be sure to bring: 

  • Clothes 
  • Medications 
  • Phone charger 
  • Electronics 
  • Personal items 

During the operation 

Your child will be asleep with general anesthesia throughout the procedure.  

The surgical approach will vary depending on your child’s age and medical history. Typically, for young children, a cut is made in the center of the abdomen. For older children, the cut is usually in the right lower abdomen.  

The blood vessels of the new kidney are attached to the existing blood vessels. The ureter that drains the kidney is connected to your child’s bladder. A stent may be placed to keep this connection open. The stent, if needed, will be removed four to six weeks after surgery.  

Your child’s existing kidneys are usually kept in place unless they have been causing problems. 

The surgery typically lasts three to four hours.  

After the operation 

Your child will be closely monitored in the intensive care unit (ICU) for several days. Once stabilized, your child will be moved to our pediatric floor.  

The average hospitalization stay is about one week. But this will vary based on your child’s needs.  

Sometimes the kidneys produce urine right away. Other times, it can take several days. A foley catheter is placed to help drain urine from the bladder and to monitor how much urine the new kidney is producing.  

An IV is placed to give fluids and medications. Immunosuppression medications will be given to protect against rejection. Labs will be checked frequently to monitor the new kidney’s health.  

Have questions? We're here to help.

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