Living Donor Kidney Transplant Surgery

Step 1
The kidney transplant surgery is scheduled. Your child may be admitted to Children’s at Egleston the afternoon before the kidney transplant surgery. Please be aware that if your child is sick or if an emergency situation arises, your child’s kidney transplant surgery may be canceled.

Step 2
The pediatric-trained anesthesiologist will come to your child’s room to discuss his allergies and types of anesthesia. An anesthesiologist is a medical doctor who takes care of your child’s body functions during surgery. Anesthesia is medicine that allows your child to be in a deep sleep so he cannot see, hear or feel anything, not even pain.

Step 3
The kidney transplant surgeon will talk to you about your child’s kidney transplant surgery. You will be asked to sign a consent form for kidney transplant surgery after the kidney transplant surgeon has explained the operation and its possible risks.

Step 4
The pediatric kidney transplant surgery will take place.

  • The pediatric kidney transplant surgery may take from four to 12 hours.
  • During kidney transplant surgery, there is a room for you and your family to wait.
  • The Children’s Kidney Transplant coordinator, an operating room (OR) nurse or a child life specialist will give you updates about your child.
  • The pediatric kidney transplant surgeon will talk to you after your child’s kidney transplant surgery.
  • If you need to leave the hospital, please tell the Children’s Kidney Transplant coordinator. Be sure to leave a number where you can be reached.

Step 5
Immediately after your child’s kidney transplant surgery, your child will go to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU).

  • Your child will be sleepy from the anesthesia (a medicine that puts your child to sleep during surgery) for up to several days.
  • Your child will have I.V.s (tubes that deliver medicine through his veins) and a Foley catheter (a small, flexible tube that drains urine from the bladder) to measure his urine. The catheter will stay in place for several days to check his urine output.
  • Your child may stay in the PICU for two to three days.
  • The Children’s Kidney Transplant team and the PICU staff will take care of your child after the kidney transplant surgery.

Visitor Guidelines  

Step 6
After a few days, your child will be taken to a patient care area.

  • The nurses and staff will help your child recover and prepare him to go home.
  • Your child can usually go home about seven to 14 days after kidney transplant surgery.
  • The Children’s Kidney Transplant coordinator and nursing staff will teach you how to care for your child at home.

The Donor’s Surgery

Step 1
Once the donor evaluation is complete, the donor’s surgery is scheduled at the Emory Transplant Center.

Step 2
The Emory Kidney Transplant coordinator will give the donor information about pre-registration and when to stop eating and drinking the day before surgery.

Step 3
The donor will be admitted to the Emory Transplant Center.

Step 4
The surgery will take place the following morning and may take from three to eight hours.

Step 5
After surgery, the donor will recover at the Emory Transplant Center.