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After their surgery, Penn kidney transplant patients go directly to a recovery room. When they awake, an intravenous (IV) line is in place and a Foley catheter drains urine from the bladder.

Transplanted kidneys from a living donor generally make urine right away, often a large amount of urine the first day following surgery.

Kidneys from deceased donors may take days or weeks to produce urine. In these cases, short-term dialysis may be required. Typically, kidney transplant patients are ready to go home three to seven days following their surgery.

What To Expect

Depending upon their post-surgical recovery, most kidney transplant patients are transitioned back to the care of their community nephrologist anywhere from three to six months after their transplant.

Counseling - Counseling is provided for post-transplant patients who may experience a variety of lifestyle changes. One-on-one sessions can be requested through the post-transplant coordinator. Group support is available through quarterly meetings of the Kidney Transplant Support Group.

Nutrition - It is important that kidney transplant patients avoid certain foods that may interact with the post-transplant medications.

Medications - It is important that all medications be taken as prescribed after kidney transplant surgery. It is also helpful for patients to be familiar with the side effects of their medications.

Many cough and cold medications contain agents that can narrow blood vessels and raise blood pressure and creatinine levels. Please review the the list of safe over-the-counter medications that do not have harmful effects on a transplanted kidney and may be purchased at the local drug store without a prescription.

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