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HF 8073

Renal (Kidney) Autotransplant

Kidney autotransplant surgery is done to help manage severe, long-lasting kidney pain. The transplant surgeon removes the kidney and places it deep in the lower pelvis. The surgery is done through a long vertical incision down your belly. Surgery will last about five hours, but this can vary.

8073 Renal Autotransplant


No matter how carefully the surgery and work-up is done, there are always risks.
Any surgical incision can cause mild, permanent weakness and numbness to that part of your body.

While rare, there is a chance that the surgeons may not be able to place the kidney back in your body once it has been removed.
Other risks include but are not limited to:

  • A reaction to anesthesia

  • Stroke or heart attack

  • Blood clots in the legs or lungs

  • Mild or severe infections in the lungs, urinary tract or wound

  • Uncontrolled bleeding that requires a blood transfusion.

  • Repeat surgeries.

  • Injury to other organs such as the pancreas, stomach or intestines.

  • Pain in the incision that does not go away.

  • Delayed wound healing.

  • Hernia.

  • Bowel problems such as slow or blocked bowels.

Before Surgery

You must have a primary support person that can commit to providing care as you recover. We encourage this person to be at your pre-op visit.

You will go to the UW Health transplant clinic for a pre-operative visit. You will get information in the mail for this visit.
During this visit:

  • You will have a complete physical

  • Blood drawn for labs

  • EKG

  • Additional directions will be given

After Surgery

  • Plan to be in the hospital for 5 to 7 days.

  • Plan to be off work for 8 to 12 weeks.

  • No lifting more the 10 pounds for 8 weeks. No more than 30 pounds for 4 weeks after that.

  • You will not be able to drive after surgery while taking narcotic pain medicines.

  • It is important to have a good recovery plan in place before surgery. Know who will help and support you after surgery.

Follow-Up Care

If you live more than three hours from the hospital, you must stay in the area after discharge until your 2 ½-week follow-up visit. Your primary support person must also stay with you.
At your follow-up visit you will be seen by the surgical team.

  • Blood drawn

  • Urine checked

If you take pain medicine before surgery, it is important that you follow up with your local doctor to manage those medicines.

We will have you check labs at 3, 6, and 12 months after surgery.

Schedule an appointment to see your primary care provider when you return home and yearly.

Who to Call

Transplant Office:

Fax Number:

Main Hospital Number:

Guest Services: