Transplant Center
Rhode Island Hospital

The Day of Surgery: What to Expect

On the day of surgery, the donor and recipient report to the "same day admission" area at their scheduled time.

Please remember to have removed all:

  • jewelry
  • removable caps, plates or dentures
  • makeup and nail polish

It is strongly suggested that belongings be given to a family member. It is helpful to have a bag packed for someone to bring to the hospital the day after surgery. The hospital staff will supply all necessities immediately after surgery.

What to expect before surgery

  1. On arrival, nursing staff will ask you to undress, place your clothes in a personal belongings bag and put on a johnny.
  2. The staff will then complete a physical assessment, start an intravenous, and give you knee-high elastic stockings to put on.
  3. An orderly will transport you by stretcher to the holding area of the operating room. The holding unit is a small, noisy, busy room.
  4. An anesthesia department staff member will greet you here and go over the details regarding anesthesia and pain control. The transplant team encourages the use of a PCA pump to administer pain medication intravenously. The PCA is a patient-controlled medication administration device. When pain medication is needed a button similar to the nurse call button is pushed. The pump is set to deliver a specific amount of medication. The amount may be adjusted according to the level of discomfort.
  5. Typically, the donor and recipient will get to see each other before entering the operating room.
  6. Upon entering the operating room, you will be given anesthesia to put you to sleep.

The kidney removal surgery (donor nephrectomy) takes approximately three hours. The procedure may be the traditional, open approach or the less invasive laparoscopic approach.

What to expect after surgery