When your transplant is from a deceased donor
When the transplant team finds a kidney match for you or your child from a deceased donor, a doctor from the transplant centre or program will call you. They’ll ask you some health questions and then tell you when you or your child have to be at the transplant unit.
Once you get the call:
- don’t eat or drink anything
- have a quick shower before you go to the hospital
At the hospital you will:
- be admitted to the transplant unit
- meet with the transplant team
- have tests to check your health – blood tests,
electrocardiogram (ECG), and a chest x-ray
- be checked for infections, for example COVID-19
You and the donor kidney will go through many tests before the transplant team will know for sure if they can go ahead with the transplant.
The transplant may be cancelled if:
- a problem is found with the donor kidney such as disease
- there’s a change in your health
- you test positive for antibodies that will attack the donor kidney – called a positive cross match
If all goes well and you’re having the transplant, the surgery may not begin right away. There is often a wait time, and you may need to have dialysis during this time. The transplant team will let you know what’s happening and is there to support you and your family as you wait for surgery.
In some cases, you may be called to come to the hospital as a back-up recipient. This means someone else has been chosen to get the donor kidney. But if for some reason they can’t have a transplant, you may get the donor kidney. You may be asked to be a back-up recipient a few times before you get a kidney transplant.
If you get called in and don’t get that kidney it means it is nearly your turn.
To learn more about getting called, please watch the video:
Receiving the Call for a Transplant.
When your transplant is from a living donor
With a living donor transplant there is usually more time to plan for your transplant day.
- You may have a preadmission clinic visit up to 4 weeks before the surgery. At this visit you’ll have tests to check your health. You’ll also meet with the
anesthesiologist and your transplant coordinator.
- You will be admitted to the transplant unit the day before surgery to meet with the transplant team.
- More tests will be done to check your health to make sure you’re healthy enough for surgery. This includes blood tests,
electrocardiogram (ECG), and a chest x-ray.
- The anesthesiologist may send you for other tests after they talk with you and review your medical history.
- You won’t be able to eat or drink anything after midnight on the day of the surgery.
If you’re having the transplant, the surgery may not begin right away. There is often a wait time, and you may need to have dialysis during this time. The transplant team will let you know what’s happening and is there to support you and your family as you wait for surgery.
It’s important to let the transplant team know if there are any changes to your health, for example infections or if you’re taking new medicines.