Kidney Quest: Surgery & Recovery

Cardiac operating room
Cardiac operating room (Photo credit: Ruhrfisch)

If you are anticipating becoming a donor, the hardest part has past once the day of surgery arrives. The procedure is much like any other peritoneal surgery.

  1. You will be taken into the OR.
  2. You will be given an IV and anesthesia.
  3. You will have a breathing tube because the anesthesia suppresses your respiratory system.
  4. You will wake up and discover you have save a life.
The recipient will follow the same procedure. In our case, my brother’s procedure began about two hours after mine. He had the adjoining OR.
Your recovery will be a bit more difficult than the recipient’s. The surgeon must penetrate the peritoneal cavity. So the next day you will have a liquid diet.
The kidney is implanted in the peritoneal pocket. This is a section under the hipbone. My rail-thin brother can feel the kidney when he bends. Because the surgery is not as invasive, the recipient will be on a full diet the next day.
The donor will be released in one to two days, and you can return to work in about a month. The recipient will be released in about four days.
If you have any questions about what to expect, please feel free to leave a comment.

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