Tubes and monitoring equipment will be used to check your recovery progress after surgery. You can expect to wake up from surgery with an IV line in your arm, a larger IV in your neck (central line), a small tube called a foley catheter in your bladder to collect your urine, and EKG pads on your chest to monitor your heartbeat. When you wake up, you will be in the recovery room. Then you will be transferred to either the transplant floor or the surgical intensive care unit (ICU).
Initially you will be under the effects of anesthesia; you will be sleepy and may not remember the first time your family visits. During your recovery period, we will frequently check your vital signs, draw blood and collect urine for lab tests, monitor your urine output, and administer medications. In order to monitor your kidney function, you may have some of the following tests:
- Serum Creatinine: This blood test measures kidney function. It is checked each day while you are in the hospital.
- Renal Scan: This test monitors blood flow to the kidney and kidney function.
- Renal Ultrasound: This test checks the kidney for any blockages or fluid collections around the kidney.
- Kidney Biopsy: This test is used to check for rejection.
- You can expect to spend three to five days in the hospital after surgery. Your nurses will help you regain your strength, teach you how to care for yourself when you go home, and prepare you for discharge from the hospital. Close follow-up is essential for the success of your transplant, so after you are discharged, you may need to return to the transplant clinic daily for a few days for lab work.
- Going Home
Going home after your transplant is exciting, but it can also be overwhelming. Before you go home, we will thoroughly review with you and your family what you need to do to take care of yourself and your new kidney. Your transplant coordinator, pharmacist, social worker, and nurses will begin preparing you for discharge the day after surgery.