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The Procedure

The surgery to remove kidney is called a nephrectomy. At Rush University Medical Center, we perform the donor nephrectomy using laparoscopic technique. The kidney is removed through an incision approximately three inches in length. The surgery is performed under general anesthesia and lasts approximately 3-4 hours. Donors typically go home within 24-48 hours after surgery.

Living with one kidney

  • Kidney function: All living donors experience a permanent decrease in kidney function after surgery. However, your long-term risk of developing kidney failure is similar to that of other healthy individuals with two kidneys.
  • Back to normal activities: Once you have recovered from the surgery, which typically takes two to three weeks, you will be able to resume normal activity without any additional restrictions or medications.
  • Follow-up: After surgery, you will have follow-up appointments with the transplant team one to two weeks after surgery. You will then have the following follow-up schedule: six months after surgery; one year after surgery; and two years after surgery.

We recommend that you see your primary care physician at least once a year for check-ups.

Contact us

For more information, please contact our living donor transplant coordinator at (312) 947-GIFT (4438). Or fill out a living donor questionnaire to determine if you are eligible to be a living kidney donor.