After my kidney transplant

What happens after I go home?

You will be given a supply of your new tablets and will have to come to the transplant clinic at the Royal Free three times a week. This frequency of clinic visits will gradually reduce over the next few months (three times a week for the first month, twice a week for the second month and weekly during the third month) and by four months after the transplant, most patients are only coming once every two weeks. After a year, most patients are only coming four or five times a year.

Why do I need to come to clinic so often?

We need to monitor you and your kidney function very carefully after the transplant to make sure you do not have rejection, infection or any other complications after the transplant. You will have blood tests at each visit to monitor your kidney function and the effects of the medication. You will need to have your dressing changed, any stitches removed and the stent in your kidney removed after four to six weeks. We will be monitoring your blood pressure and will be changing your blood pressure tablets and immunosuppression during this time, to get the balance of tablets right.

Will I get transport to bring me to clinic?

You will be able to have transport for the first two weeks after the transplant. After two weeks, you will need to make your own travel arrangements to come to the Royal Free.

When can I drive after my transplant?

You are normally able to drive about six weeks after your operation. We do not suggest driving before this point to reduce the risk of damage to the kidney and wound. You should check with your insurance company and inform the DVLA that you have had a transplant.

When can I go back to work after my transplant?

Our aim is to allow each transplant patient to return to an independent lifestyle with a good quality of life. Most transplant recipients remain off work for two to three months after the transplant but this depends on the individual patient and their occupation. Please discuss when you can return to work with the doctor caring for you.

What can I eat after my transplant?

There is no special diet after successful transplantation and most of the dialysis dietary restrictions are lifted. We would suggest that you follow a healthy and varied diet after transplantation with a low salt intake and more fruit and vegetables. You are able to drink alcohol after the transplant but only in moderation within the national guidelines of 14 units per week for women and 21 units per week for men. We ask you to avoid grapefruit juice, as this can affect the level of some immunosuppression tablets. If you need further advice, please ask your doctor or specialist nurse to refer you to a dietician.

For more information read our leaflet, dietary advice after a kidney transplant.

Will I put on weight after my transplant?

Weight gain is common after successful transplant, particularly within the first year, and is often due to an increase in appetite and steroid immunosuppression.

Weight gain will increase blood pressure and your risk of diabetes after the transplant. It is important to maintain a healthy diet and perform regular exercise to keep your weight within the healthy range.