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A kidney transplant is surgery to give you a healthy kidney from another person. The new kidney may have come from someone you know, a stranger, or a person who has died. You need only one healthy kidney to live.
Your belly and side will be sore for the first 1 to 2 weeks after surgery. You also may have some numbness around the cut (incision) the doctor made. You may feel tired while you are healing. It may take 3 to 6 weeks for your energy to fully return.
After the transplant, you must take medicine to keep your body from rejecting the new kidney. You will need to take anti-rejection medicine every day from now on. These medicines have side effects. One side effect is that your body may be less able to fight infections. It's important to take steps to avoid infections. Stay away from crowds of people and anyone who might have an infection or an illness such as a cold or influenza.
Your new kidney may start working very soon after surgery, or it may take a few weeks. If your kidney doesn't start to work right away, you'll need to have dialysis until the new kidney can take over.
Having an organ transplant can bring up many emotions. You may feel grateful and happy. But you also may feel guilty or depressed. Seek out family, friends, and counsellors for support. If you think you are depressed, ask your doctor for help. Treatment can help you feel better.
This care sheet gives you a general idea about how long it will take for you to recover. But each person recovers at a different pace. Follow the steps below to get better as quickly as possible.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:
Call your doctor or nurse advice line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse advice line if:
Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd
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Current as of: March 1, 2023
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.
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