Kidney transplant: Your stay in hospital after surgery

PDF download is not available for Arabic and Urdu languages at this time. Please use the browser print function instead

Most kidney transplant patients stay in the hospital for about two weeks after their surgery. However, you may need to stay longer if any problems come up while you recover.

Critical care unit

Normally, teens spend their first night after surgery in the critical care unit (CCU). Here, you will be monitored very closely. An ultrasound and kidney scan are normally done on the first day after transplant.

Many factors affect when you will move from the CCU to the transplant ward. For most teens, this happens one or two nights after the transplant.

Transplant ward

When you are on the ward, your diet will slowly start to change and you will start to spend short periods away from your bed to keep your body healthy.

  • Your team will ask you to get out of bed every day. This helps to prevent complications and helps make your bowels move.
  • The team will slowly change your diet from clear fluids to full fluids (liquid food) and from full fluids to regular food.
  • You will be asked to do deep breathing and coughing every hour while you are awake to help your lungs stay healthy.
  • You will start learning about your medicines and eventually be asked to practice taking all your medications on your own.

You will take some of the immunosuppressant medicines for the rest of your life. It is important that you are familiar with them. Your transplant pharmacist will guide you at first and will work with you even after you are discharged from hospital.

How you can help your recovery

Take all your medicines and start to learn about them.

Follow the diet recommended by your dietitian.

Take the right amount of fluids when you are told to take them. At first, you may have to drink a set amount every hour. Then, you will have to drink a minimum amount of fluid every day.

Do the exercises that you are given by the transplant team. At first, these will only involve deep breathing and coughing and getting out of bed.

Avoid being around anyone who has an infection. Ask family and friends not to visit you in the hospital when they are not feeling well.

Post-transplant dialysis

Sometimes it takes a while for your new kidney to work properly after surgery. If this happens, you may need to start or continue dialysis.

Last updated: November 30th 2017