Transplant surgery

Before your transplant

The ETMC transplant team will evaluate you and determine whether a kidney transplant may be safe and beneficial for you.

Once you’re approved for a kidney transplant, remain in close contact with the transplant center and notify your transplant coordinator of any significant changes in your life. We will encourage you to seek out potential living donors among your friends and family. You will also be placed on a waiting list for a deceased donor kidney. At ETMC Tyler, this can take anywhere from one to three years. Your waiting time may vary because of your blood type, tissue type and several other factors. While waiting for a deceased donor kidney, you’ll need to stay in close communication with the transplant team and be prepared to get to the hospital quickly after you receive notice that a donor kidney is available.

Transplant surgery

Before your transplant, you’ll have blood tests to ensure that your body is compatible with the potential donor’s organ and to check that antibodies in your body don’t react to the donor’s cells.

In some cases, surgeons may still be able to perform a kidney transplant if your antibodies react against your donor’s cells or if you have an incompatible blood type.

During kidney transplant surgery, doctors give you a general anesthetic and a special incision pain-blocking anesthetic. Your surgeon makes an incision in your lower abdomen and places the donor kidney near your bladder in your lower abdomen. Surgeons restore blood supply to your new kidney by connecting your kidney to your blood vessels. Your surgeon then attaches the tube that connects the bladder and kidney (ureter) to your bladder. Your own kidneys aren’t removed. Your new kidney often begins to function immediately.

After your transplant

After your transplant, you’ll usually stay in the hospital for four to seven days to recover. After leaving the hospital, you will come to the transplant center for the first few weeks to check on your progress. You will start your medications to keep your body from rejecting your new kidney. We will also discuss your lifestyle changes, exercise plan and nutrition to get you on the path to a better life.