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Kidney Transplant Operation

The kidney transplant surgery is performed under general anesthesia.

The operation usually takes 2–4 hours. The kidney transplant is placed in the front (anterior) part of the lower abdomen, in the pelvis.

The artery that carries blood to the kidney and the vein that carries blood away is surgically connected to the artery and vein already existing in the pelvis of the recipient.

The ureter, or tube, that carries urine from the kidney, is connected to the bladder. Recovery in the hospital is usually 3–7 days.

Complications can occur with any surgery. The following complications do not occur often but can include:

  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Difficulty with blood circulation to the kidney
  • Wound healing problems or problem with the flow of urine from the kidney

The original kidneys are not usually removed unless they are causing severe problems, such as uncontrollable high blood pressure and frequent kidney infections, or are greatly enlarged.