WHAT HAPPENS DURING A KIDNEY TRANSPLANT?
Surgery for a kidney transplant takes about two to three hours. A cut is made in your lower abdomen, on the right or left side. The new kidney is placed in your pelvis. The renal artery and vein of the tranplant kidney are connected to an artery and vein in your pelvis (usually the illiac artery and vein that lead down towards the leg). The ureter of the transplanted kidney is connected to your bladder so urine can flow.
Many people are surprised to learn that their own failed kidneys are not removed. They are left in your body to continue to provide whatever amount of function they may still have. Sometimes it may be necessary to remove your failed kidneys if they are very large (if you have polycystic kidney disease) or in the case of chronic infection. If this is needed, your failed kidneys will be removed in a separate surgical procedure before your transplant surgery.