Living Donor Kidney Inpatient Hospitalization

Schedule for Day of Donation Surgery

Morning of Surgery:

  • Arrive in Same Day Surgery at 6:00 a.m.

  • Donor meets with the anesthesiologist and donor surgeon then is prepped for surgery. If consent forms were not signed at Pre-Admission Testing they will be signed at this time.

  • Donor is taken to the operating room where general anesthesia will be administered and the surgery will take place.

  • During the surgery, the donor's family may wait in the surgery waiting area on the 3rd floor, Weinberg building.

  • The donor's family should check in with the attendant in the surgery waiting area. The attendant will provide updates about the status of the donor's surgery (i.e., when the surgery is complete, when they donor arrives in the recovery room).

Immediately After Surgery:

  • Once the surgery is complete, the donor surgeon will come to the waiting area on the 3rd floor, Gudelsky Building to speak with the family. (Please note: it takes approximately 6 hours from the time that the donor arrives in Same Day Surgery to when they arrive in the post-op recovery room).

Recovery Room:

  • The donor will be taken directly to the recovery room after surgery. Here they will be watched closely with vital signs taken frequently as they become more awake. The donor's nurse will monitor the donor's comfort level and will administer pain medicine as needed.

  • The family will be able to briefly visit the donor in the recovery room.

After Recovery Room:

  • Once the donor is stable for a few hours, they will be transferred to a donor suite on the transplant floor, the 8th floor, Gudelsky Building.

  • The donor will be given compression stockings to help with circulation until they begin walking regularly.

  • The donor will be instructed on the use of incentive spirometry for breathing exercises. This assists in preventing pneumonia post surgery.

  • The urinary catheter will be left in bladder overnight to monitor urine output and kidney function.

  • The donor's diet will include ice chips and sips of clear liquids after surgery and will advance to solid food as tolerated.

  • The donor will be encouraged to get out of bed to the chair that evening and may walk as tolerated.

  • Oral pain medicine will be provided as needed when requested. The donor will need to keep the nurse informed of pain level. Anti-nausea medicine is also available upon request.

Post-Op Day 1 & 2:

  • Urinary Catheter is removed from bladder in the morning after surgery.

  • Donor will have post-operative blood tests the morning after surgery.

  • Donor should be able to tolerate a regular diet within two days of surgery.

  • Donor will continue oral pain medicine and anti-nausea medicine as needed.

  • Donor is encouraged to walk as much as tolerated - at least 3 times that day. (The recipient's room should be on the same floor. Visiting the recipient is often a good incentive to walk).

  • Bowel activity improves.

  • Donor may experience gas pain in the abdomen and shoulders. Walking should help relieve pain. **Heat packs are also available upon request.

  • If the surgeon feels that the donor is stable, they may allow donor to be discharged home post-op Day 1. If not, then the donor will stay until the next day.

  • Donor will be discharged on pain medicine and stool softener. ***If the donor has concerns about specific pain medicines they should discuss with their surgeon the morning of surgery.***

  • Donor will not be charged for prescriptions if they are filled at UMMS outpatient pharmacy. Donor's family member or friend should take written prescriptions to pharmacy a couple of hours before discharge from the hospital. ***(Pharmacy Hours: Mon-Fri, 8am-9pm; Sat-Sun, 9am-4pm).

  • Post-Operative follow-up appointment will be made for 1-2 weeks after surgery.

Discharge Home:

  • Allow 2-6 weeks for recovery period. (Even though the donor's surgery is considered "minimally invasive" it is still major surgery. Donor should allow time for healing).

  • Minor incision oozing and tenderness is normal. Abdominal swelling is to be expected. (Loose-fitting clothing may be preferred for comfort).

  • Some pain is normal, but should be relieved with prescribed pain medicine.

  • Abdominal gas is possible for about five days. Shoulder pain may also be experienced.

  • Showering is acceptable as soon as the donor feels ready. Tub baths and swimming to be avoided until incision is completely healed.

  • No lifting greater than 10 lbs for 2 weeks after surgery.

  • Stair climbing and walking is encouraged.

  • Driving is permitted after narcotic pain medicine is discontinued.

To speak with someone about our services or to become a living kidney donor, please call 410-328-5408 or 1-800-492-5538.

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