Kidney transplant surgery is carried out to replace the patient's ailing kidney with the donor's healthy kidney. It requires the surgeon to place the new kidney inside the patient's lower abdomen and connect it to the patient's arteries and veins, subsequently, allowing blood to flow through this new kidney to help it make urine.
The body takes nutrients from food and converts them to energy. After the body has taken the food that it needs, waste products are left behind in the bowel and in the blood.
The kidneys and urinary system keep chemicals, such as potassium and sodium, and water in balance, and remove a type of waste, called urea, from the blood. Urea is produced when foods containing protein, such as meat, poultry, and certain vegetables, are broken down in the body. Urea is carried in the bloodstream to the kidneys. Kidneys also regulate fluid and acid-base balance in the body.
Procedures may vary depending on the patient's condition. Generally, a kidney transplant follows this process:
The surgery is performed while the patient is asleep under general anesthesia.An intravenous (IV) line is started in the patient's arm. Additional catheters may be inserted in the neck and wrist to monitor the status of the heart and blood pressure, as well as for obtaining blood samples. Alternate sites for the additional catheters include the subclavian (under the collarbone) area and the groin.If there is excessive hair at the surgical site, it may be clipped off. A catheter is inserted into the bladder.
The patient is then positioned on the operating table, lying on the back. A tube is inserted through the mouth into the lungs and attached to a ventilator that will breathe for thepatient during the procedure.The anesthesiologist continuously monitorsthe heart rate, blood pressure, breathing, and blood oxygen level during the surgery.The skin over the surgical site is cleansed with an antiseptic solution and an incision made into the lower abdomen on one side.
The donor's kidney is inspected prior to implanting it and thenplaced into the abdomen. A left donor kidney is implanted on the right side while a right donor kidney is implanted on the left side as this allows the ureter to be accessed easily for connection to the bladder.The renal artery and vein of the donor kidney are sutured (sewn) to the external iliac artery and vein.After the artery and vein are attached, the blood flow through these vessels is checked for bleeding at the suture lines.The donor ureter (the tube that drains urine from the kidney) is connected to the bladder.The incision is closed with stitches or surgical staples and thoroughly dressed with sterile bandage.