When a suitable donor kidney is found, the transplant centre will contact you. Staff at the centrewill check you don't have any new medical problems and then ask you to go to the centre.
When you hear from the transplant centre:
When you arrive at the transplant centre, you'll be quickly assessed. Some of the tests you had at your initial assessment may be repeated to ensure no new medical conditions have developed.Tests will also be done to ensure the donor kidney is suitable for you.
The transplant procedure must be carried out as quickly as possible for the transplant to have the best chance of success. After the medical team has confirmed the kidney is in good condition and is suitable, you'll be given the general anaesthetic and taken to the operating theatre.
The kidney transplant procedure involves three main stages:
A small plastic tube called a stent may be inserted into the ureter to help ensure a good flow of urine initially. This will usually be removed about 6 to 12 weeks later during a minor procedure called a Cystoscopy .
When the kidney is properly in place, the incision in your abdomen will be closed with surgical staples, stitches or surgical glue.
Although the procedure may sound relatively straightforward, it's very demanding and complex surgery that usually takes around three hours to complete.
Once you've recovered from the effects of the anaesthetic, it's likelyyou will feel some pain at the site of the incision.Painkillers will be provided, if necessary.
After the operation, you'll immediately begin treatment with medication designed to prevent your immune system from rejecting your new kidney. See living with a kidney transplant for more information on this.
Most transplanted kidneys will start working immediately, particularly if they come from a living donor, although sometimes they may take a few days or weeks to work properly. If this is the case, you'll need to have dialysis during this time.
Most people can leave hospital in about a week, but you'll need to attend frequent appointments at the transplant centre, so your kidney function can be assessed and tests can be carried outto check how well your medications are working.
For the first few weeks after surgery, you may need to have two to three appointments a week. However, over time, your appointments will become less frequent. After a year, as long as you do not have any serious problems, you should only have to attend the centre once every few months.
After kidney surgery, you should be able to return to work and normal activities within a few months, provided you make good progress.
Read about kidney transplants, including who can have them, what they involve and what the risks are.
Read about waiting for a kidney transplant, including how long the average wait is, how donor kidneys are allocated, and where you might go for your transplant.
Read about what happens during a kidney transplant, including what to do when you're contacted by the transplant centre and what the procedure involves.
Healthy lifestyle tips for people who have had a kidney transplant, including dietary advice and information about the medication you'll need to take.
Read about the main risks of a kidney transplant, including those associated with the procedure itself, plus the medication you need to take and potential problems with the kidney itself.
Ivy Ashworth-Crees talks about how much better her life is since her double kidney and pancreas transplant.
When Dr Carole Angeldonated akidneytoher brother, Paul Whitaker, she was able to go home just 48 hours after surgery.
Double kidney transplant recipient Riminder Dosanjhspentfour years waiting for a transplantwith no kidneys in her body at all.