​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​After Your Operation

On this page, you can read all about what to expect during your hospital stay. Or, just click on one of the links below, to get the answer you want right now.

What will happen right after my operation?
  • ​After the surgery, you will be cared for in the Acute Care Unit (ACU) and will usually stay there for 1 – ​2 days. Your transplant team will watch you closely for signs and symptoms of any complications and will make changes to your care as needed.
  • You will have a catheter in your bladder to drain your urine and you will receive IV fluids until you are able to take in enough food and fluids. Blood samples will be taken frequently to check the status of the new kidney, as well as other body functions. Your diet will be gradually changed from liquids to more solid foods as tolerated.
How will I feel after my operation?
  • Once you have recovered from the anesthetic, you will likely feel some pain at the site of your incision.
  • Our pain management team will work with you during and after surgery to make sure your pain is well managed.
  • Many kidney transplant recipients say they begin to feel better quickly because of the new kidney.

How can I take care of myself after my operation?

After the operation, you will immediately begin treatment with medication designed to prevent your immune system from rejecting your new kidney. These types of medication are known as immunosuppressants. You will now take these medications for life.

Moving your body is an important part of your recovery.

  • Start some deep breathing and coughing exercises. We'll show you an exercise called incentive spirometry
  • You will shower while you are in the hospital.​
  • Wiggle your toes and move your feet. This helps the blood in your legs to circulate.
  • Sitting up in a chair, performing self-care, and walking in the hallway are excellent ways to improve your strength and stamina.
  • You will be encouraged to sit up and walk as soon as you are able.

Nurses, pharmacists, dietitians, physiotherapists, and other members of the transplant team will teach you how to take care of yourself once you are discharged from the hospital.

Will I learn about my medication?

On the ​Transplant Inpatient Unit, you will learn about your new life with a kidney transplant, including how and when to take your new transplant medicines and any side effects you may have. You will meet with one of our transplant pharmacists. The pharmacist will answer any questions you may have about your new medicines. You can also visit our patient toolbox​ to learn more about your transplant medicines and life after transplant.

How long will I stay in the hospital?
  • You can expect to be in the hospital for up to 7 days.
  • Before you leave the hospital, your transplant team will give you a schedule that will tell you how and when to take all of your transplant medicines and when you will need to come to the hospital for regular blood tests and clinic visits.​
  • Your schedule will be based on your progress and your doctor's recommendations. Over time, your clinic visits and blood tests will become less frequent.​​

​​​​​​Learn more about your stay

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