Skip to content

    Organ Transplant

    Organ Transplant: At the Hospital

    The big day is here! You're headed to the hospital for your organ transplant surgery.

    Here's an idea of what you can expect. Keep in mind that these are only general facts. You're unique, so your experience will be, too.

    Recommended Related to Heart Health

    How to Boost Your Man's Heart Health

    It’s Father’s Day, and you’ve got love in your heart for the men in your life -- your husband, your dear old dad, maybe even your brother. But it seems they might not be watching after their own hearts. They ignore this vital organ at their peril: As with women, heart disease is a leading killer of Americans. More than a half million men have heart attacks each year. Even so, fewer people have died over the past decade, largely due to more effective treatments. The American Heart Association also...

    Read the How to Boost Your Man's Heart Health article > >

    The Transplant Surgery Team

    The team approach is standard. A host of people will be taking care of you.

    Of course, you'll have your transplant surgeon and transplant doctor. Other team members typically can include:

    • The transplant coordinator
    • An intensive care or critical care specialist
    • An infectious disease doctor
    • Nurses
    • A pharmacist
    • A dietitian
    • A physical therapist
    • An occupational therapist
    • A psychiatrist or psychologist
    • A social worker
    • A financial coordinator

    Smaller transplant centers may have fewer people.

    How Long Will It Take?

    It depends on what organ you're getting, along with many other things. For example, you may spend less time in the operating room if you've already had surgery on that organ or a previous transplant.

    Transplant surgery times differ a lot. A few examples include:

    • Liver, 5 to 8 hours
    • Kidney, 4 to 5 hours
    • Pancreas, 2 to 4 hours
    • Both kidney and pancreas, 5 to 7 hours

    Your surgeon can give you a better estimate, taking into account your specific circumstances.

    Your Recovery

    Again, it depends in part on what surgery you have, as well as the standard process your hospital follows. Right after the operation, you may go to an intensive care or critical care unit.

    You'll be able to see visitors as soon as your doctor decides you're well enough. That's often sooner than you might expect. If you're feeling good, it may even be the same day as your surgery.

    During recovery, the emphasis is on getting you up and active. You'll likely be sitting in a chair within a day or two.

    How long you can expect to stay in the hospital varies, too. Your care team will consider things like how sick you were when you went in and how well your surgery went.

    For kidney transplants, it's often 4 or 5 days; for kidney and pancreas, it may be 7 to 10 days. Liver transplants are also often 7 to 10 days.

    WebMD Medical Reference

    Next Article:

    Hot Topics

    WebMD Video: Now Playing

    Click here to wach video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

    Which sex is the worst about washing up? Why is it so important? We’ve got the dirty truth on how and when to wash your hands.

    Click here to watch video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

    Popular Slideshows & Tools on WebMD

    disciplining a boy
    Types, symptoms, causes.
    fruit drinks
    Eat these to think better.
    embarrassed woman
    Do you feel guilty after eating?
    diabetes supply kit
    Pack and prepare.
    Balding man in mirror
    Treatments & solutions.
    birth control pills
    Which kind is right for you?
    Remember your finger
    Are you getting more forgetful?
    sticky notes on face
    10 tips to clear your brain fog.
    Close up of eye
    12 reasons you're distracted.
    woman biting a big ice cube
    Habits that wreck your teeth.
    apple slices with peanut butter
    What goes best with workouts?
    Pink badge on woman chest to support breat cancer
    Myths and facts.

    Women's Health Newsletter

    Find out what women really need.