Regardless of your child’s donor source, the transplant operation will be the same.

During the kidney transplant procedure at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, your child will be asleep with general anesthesia throughout the surgery, which usually lasts about three to four hours. If your child still has her own kidneys, they will not be removed unless they have been causing problems such as uncontrolled high blood pressure or recurrent infections.

Once your child is asleep, the transplant surgeon will make a cut (incision) on either the right or left side of the lower abdomen, just above the groin area. This incision looks like a small hockey stick.

The new kidney’s blood vessels are attached to your child’s blood vessels and the tube draining urine from it will be attached to your child’s bladder. Often, the kidney will start making urine right away, but sometimes it may take days to weeks before it starts working. If there is a delay in the function of the new kidney, your child may need dialysis treatment until the kidney starts to work.