SUNY Downstate Medical Center
Division of Transplantation
Donating a kidney is a surgical procedure performed by two skilled teams of surgeons who simultaneously operate on the donor and recipient in two adjoining rooms.
THE DONOR: Once the donor is under general anesthesia, a laparoscope and surgical instruments are placed into the abdomen through small puncture sites on the side where the kidney will be removed. The kidney is freed utilizing Laparoscopic techniques and carefully removed through a 2 to 3 inch incision in the lower abdomen. The kidney is examined, flushed with a special cold solution, and carried into the recipient's operating room where a second team of surgeons begins to transplant the kidney into the recipient. After the kidney has been removed, the incisions are closed and the donor is taken to the recovery room.
THE RECIPIENT: Under general anesthesia, an incision is made in the left or right lower abdomen, just above the groin. This allows the new kidney to be attached directly to the bladder. In most cases, as soon as the kidney's artery and vein are connected to the blood vessels in the recipient, the kidney will begin working and producing urine while still in the operating room. The recipient's incision is then closed and the recipient taken to the recovery room.
The operation for the donor and recipient each take about 3 to 4 hours to perform.