Kidney Transplantation: What to Expect & How to Prepare

kidney transplantation

Kidneys are organs located on each side of the spine below the ribcage. The function of these two bean-shaped organs in your body is more than filtering your blood. It maintains your blood pressure, removes excessive body fluid, and aids the production of red blood cells. 

The condition by which one or both kidneys fail to regulate bodily function is called kidney failure.  

Kidney failure can be the outcome of a variety of health conditions which include:

  • Diabetics
  • High blood pressure
  • Liver failure
  • Heart diseases
  • Infections
  • Certain allergic reactions
  • Dehydration
  • Hereditary health issues

There are two ways to deal with kidney failure- dialysis and kidney transplantation.

A kidney transplant offers a permanent solution for kidney failure compared to lifelong dialysis. It also ensures a better quality of life with few dietary restrictions and low treatment costs. 

A kidney transplant or renal transplant is a surgical process that involves the replacement of a damaged kidney with a healthy one from a living or deceased compatible donor. It is a feasible option for people of all ages. 

Kidney transplant surgery is indeed a major surgery that requires utmost care and has a higher risk ratio. So, one must make necessary preparations before and after the surgery. 

Here is some handy advice and information from the best urologists in Dubai and Abu Dhabi stationed at NMC Healthcare on how to prepare yourself or your loved ones for renal transplant surgery.

What to Expect

Here’s what you can expect during a routine kidney transplantation procedure: 


When one is diagnosed with kidney failure, the doctors will run some tests, including blood typing, tissue typing, and cross-matching. These tests check the compatibility between the patient and the donor to avoid the risk of rejection. The higher the donor compatibility, the lower the chance of kidney rejection. Kidney rejection occurs when the body refuses to accept the transplanted kidney and triggers antigen against the new organ, identifying it as a foreign component.

The accuracy in diagnosis and tests are important to ensure that the patient is healthy before and after the surgery. With NMC Healthcare, you access the most accurate diagnostic tests and quality treatments, with personalised care offered by the finest urologists in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. 


The execution of the surgery is by putting the patient under general anaesthetic. The heart rate, blood pressure, and oxygen level are monitored throughout the surgery to ensure no complications. 

During the surgery, the doctor makes a small incision on the lower part of your abdomen to place the new kidney and attach its blood vessels to those in your lower abdomen. The final step is to connect the new kidney’s ureter to your bladder. 


The transplantation process takes about 3 to 4 hours, depending on the type of surgery technique adopted and incisions made. 


After surgery, you will move to the recovery room, where they monitor your health condition. Once you recover from anaesthesia, you are transferred to the Treatment Recovery Unit (TRU). Your hospital stay can last from days to weeks, depending on your medical state and needs. 

Pre-Surgery Preparations

Once you find a compatible donor, you should start your pre-surgery preparations. Here are some tips for handling yourself before and after the transplantation.

  1. The first thing to do is to prepare your body for surgery which includes exercising and maintaining a healthy diet at least four weeks prior to the surgery. Limit your protein, sodium, and phosphorus intake. Make sure you follow the dietary conditions advised by your doctor strictly.
  2. Quit smoking and alcohol consumption from the diagnostic stage as they can cause complications like blood pressure variation during the surgery. It can also help to speed up the recovery process.
  3. Take advice from your doctor to know which medications to avoid, as some drugs can cause blood clots that can hinder the smoothness of the surgery. 
  4. De-stress yourself before the surgery. It is normal to get a little uptight and try to relax. Add yoga and meditation to your routine to stay focused and calm.


The recovery can take up to eight weeks, depending on the health condition. There are certain things you should keep in mind during the recovery period. 

  1. It is normal to experience soreness and pain for the first few days. Take prescribed painkillers correctly to avoid discomfort. In case of prolonged and intense pain, consult your doctor immediately. 
  2. Do regular check-ups and consultations during the recovery period. Let your doctor clear your concerns and doubts regarding your condition.
  3. Follow the dietary and exercise recommendations made by your doctor.
  4. Take medications at the prescribed dosage to avoid pain and other surgery-related discomforts. 
  5. Never skip the medications for the rest of your life to avoid the risk of rejection.

The Bottom Line

Proper medications, diet, and exercise can keep you healthy and fit after your transplantation. Know the risks of the procedure and take advice from your doctor. Whether you opt for a surgical or non-surgical process, securing the safest and quality treatment is significant for your mental and physical contentment. 

NMC Healthcare assures you the services of their most certified and finest urologists in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, helping you overcome your health-related hurdles most effectively and comfortably.