Discharge Instructions for Kidney Donors
You gave one of your kidneys to save someone’s life. This was a wonderful gift. Most kidney donors live normal lives with one kidney. Once you recover from surgery, you will be able to return to your normal activities. Here's what you need to know about home care after surgery.
Shower as needed beginning 2 or 3 days after surgery. Gently wash your cut from surgery (incision) with soap and water and pat dry.
Don’t soak in a bath until your incision is healed (2 weeks).
Don’t drive for 4 weeks after surgery or while taking pain medicines containing narcotics.
Avoid strenuous activity for 2 weeks after your surgery.
Always lift objects safely, with your legs, not your back.
Don’t lift anything heavier than 10 pounds for the first 4 weeks after your surgery.
No pushing or pulling heavy objects for 4 weeks after surgery. Don’t push a stroller, grocery cart, or vacuum cleaner. Don’t pull a wagon, garden hose, or golf club carrier.
Don’t play any contact sports for at least 6 to 8 weeks after your surgery. Check with your healthcare provider before you start exercising.
Resume sexual activity when you feel able.
Ask your healthcare provider when you can expect to return to work.
Follow up with your healthcare provider, or as advised.
When to seek medical care
Call your healthcare provider right away if you have any of the following:
Cloudy or smelly urine
Urge to urinate more often than usual
Burning when you urinate
Little or no urine output or blood in your urine
Pain that gets worse or isn’t relieved by treatment
Pain in or around your wound
Warmth, redness, or swelling in the skin around the wound
Wound that opens up or pulls apart
Fever of 100.4°F (38°C) or higher, or as directed by your healthcare provider
Nausea or vomiting
March 21, 2017
Ummel, D. Donors and Recipients of Living Kidney Donation: A Qualitative Metasummary of Their Experiences. Journal of Transplantation (2011); 2011; pp. s1-s11
Latif, Walead, DO,Walton-Ziegler, Olivia, MS, PA-C