Criteria for a Kidney Transplant Procedure
Requirements for adults include:
- Chronic advanced or end-stage renal disease
- Strong heart and blood vessels
- Financial, practical and emotional support
- Good overall health, as determined by your doctor’s assessment
- Positive kidney donor match
Kidney Transplant Recovery
After surgery, you’ll go to recovery for observation before resting in your hospital room. Your team will discuss these or other details:
- You may need dialysis until your kidney makes urine.
- You’ll receive IV fluids, slowly progressing toward liquids and solids.
- You’ll have pain medication to reduce discomfort.
- Your team will monitor medications and kidney or other functions.
- Within a day, you’ll get out of bed and move around.
Hospital stays range from 3 to 5 days or more. Kidney transplant donors typically stay 2 days. Before leaving, your care team will instruct you. You’ll learn about transplant side effects, preventive steps and follow-up care. Your nurse will discuss blood pressure management and kidney failure symptoms. A dietitian will discuss your kidney transplant diet.
You’ll need lifelong immune-suppressing medications so your immune system won’t attack your new kidney. Once home, you can relax or walk. Your physical therapist may suggest exercises but avoid strenuous lifting. Most people return to normal routines in 2 or 3 months. Full recovery takes 6 months or more.
Risks and Complications
As with any surgery, kidney transplantation is not without risk. Your transplant team will review the risks of the procedure with you and discuss any side effects you may have after the surgery.
Risks and complications may include:
- Lack of kidney function, or kidney failure
- Organ rejection
- Blood clots or bleeding
- Ureter leak
After your kidney transplant, you’ll take medicines to suppress your immune system. This is to help keep your body from rejecting the new organ. Sometimes these medicines cause side effects, including:
- High blood pressure or high cholesterol
- Weight gain
- Fluid retention, also called edema
Your transplant team will monitor you closely for signs of infection, organ rejection and other problems after surgery. You’ll also receive education that will help you and your caregivers know what to watch for and when to contact your doctor.
Trust Temple’s Innovation, Experience and Commitment to Your Care
At Temple Health, many specialists cooperate to manage kidney failure. With decades of nephrology and transplant surgery experience, we understand complex kidney disease. You receive top-level care and therapies.
- Skilled teams – Philadelphia magazine and Best Doctors in America® rank Temple Health doctors among the best. Our specialists manage kidney and related conditions, such as cancer or diabetes. Learn about your care team.
- Innovative care – Temple Health doctors apply the latest evidence-based findings to your care. We partner with academic pioneers who explore every detail – from T-cells to transplant immunology – to advance new therapies.
- Transplant success – Our program has successfully treated hundreds of transplant patients. Temple’s kidney transplant program consistently transplants patients at a higher rate than the national average.*
- Acute-care hospital – Temple University Hospital is one of the region's most respected academic medical centers.
*According to the July 2021 Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients report.
When George was told he needed a kidney transplant, he felt like all hope was lost. But even with a weak heart and end-stage kidney disease, Dr. Antonio Di Carlo felt he was a candidate for transplant. Thanks to the expertise of Temple and his wife’s loving gift of a living kidney, George has his life back.
Read more about George’s kidney transplant journey >