When your child wakes up from anesthesia following the kidney transplant operation, he or she will be in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at Cincinnati Children's. You will be able to stay with your child (even overnight) throughout your child's stay here.
Your child will remain in the ICU for several days so that he or she can be closely monitored. Your child's throat may feel sore or scratchy for a few days. This is from the tube that was placed in the airway to help your child breathe during the surgery.
Your child will feel some pain and perhaps some nausea after surgery, but he / she will be given medications to help control these problems.
Your child will also wake up with an intravenous line (IV) in his or her arm and a bigger line near the collar bone or in the neck. These lines are used to give your child fluids and medications the first few days after surgery to monitor your child closely and to obtain blood samples frequently without sticking your child each time.
Your child will also have a catheter in his or her bladder to help pass urine. This may be uncomfortable but will be removed a few days before your child goes home.
Some patients report feeling better immediately after their transplant surgery than they did before, while others may take a while longer. After the transplant, your child will be taking many new medications to keep him and the new kidney healthy. The transplant nurse coordinator will teach you and your child about these medications before you leave the hospital.
The average length of hospitalization is about a week, but may vary slightly depending on your child's individual needs.