SW Transplant Centre - Changing lives through medical care

SW Transplant

What to expect while you are in hospital

  • After you arrive, a transplant surgeon will go through the procedure of your operation and explain once more about what to expect and the risks of complications. When you fully understand, you will have to sign the consent for operation form. This is standard practice and nothing to be alarmed about.
  • You will be seen by the anaesthetist who will examine you and tell you about having a general anaesthetic.
  • When they are ready for you in theatre, porters come and collect you and take you to theatre. A nurse will come with you as well. You are bound to feel nervous, that’s normal.
  • In the theatre department, you will go first to the reception ward where a nurse will go though the reception procedure and ask you a few questions. They may change you to another trolley or bed.
  • Then you will go to the anaesthetic room, where the anaesthetist and his/her assistants will explain what they are going to do. They will put a small needle into the back of your hand and the anaesthetist will inject a drug that sends you to sleep.

Your operation (Hand Assissted Laparoscopic Donor Nephrectomy)

You may have heard about keyhole surgery. In fact the surgeon will perform "letter box" surgery with small cuts in your tummy in order to remove the kidney safely.  He or she will then expose your kidney, its renal artery, which brings blood into it and its renal vein, which drains blood out of it. Both are divided and the ureter, which is the muscular tube that carries urine from your kidney to your bladder, is exposed and divided as well. Your kidney is now free to be lifted gently from your body and stored in cold preservative until it is ready to be transplanted into your loved one. The cuts are stitched and  dressings are placed over the scars which tend to heal very well. No stitches need to be removed.

To know more about your loved one’s operation go to About the operation.

After the operation and beyond

When you come round from your anaesthetic, you may well feel grotty and you can expect quite a bit of discomfort and soreness. This can be controlled with strong pain killers. Any sicky feelings can be controlled and will pass off with tablets after a day and pain will quickly get less and less over about four days. You will be encouraged to get up and sit out of bed the day after your operation and move about as soon as you can.

When you come back from theatre, you will have a tube in your arm to give you fluids and you may have a drain in your side in case any blood collects in your wound. This is quite normal and both will be removed the day after surgery.

You will want to visit your loved one as soon as possible in order to reassure yourself that their operation has gone well. We encourage you to do so and someone will assist you even if you have to use a wheel chair.

You will probably be home within three days.

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