For the first 24 hours after surgery, you will be closely monitored by nurses. You will be under the care of the surgeon who did your surgery.
A catheter, a soft rubber tube, is inserted into your bladder to drain urine.
You will be encouraged to do leg exercises to prevent blood clots. You will also be encouraged to do deep breathing and coughing exercises to maintain good lung function.
A Patient Controlled Analgesia (PCA) pump is used to control pain. This allows you to control when you get pain medication by pressing a button. The pump is programmed so you cannot give yourself too much. The PCA pump is usually stopped after one day and replaced with pain medication by mouth.
Some patients may require oxygen by nasal tubing for a short period.
For the first two days following surgery, you will have blood and urine tests. Your blood pressure, pulse, temperature, breathing and incision sites will be checked regularly.
Your level of activity will progress from sitting in a chair to walking in the hall.
Your diet will also progress from ice chips through to a light meal, usually by the end of the first post-operative day.
Most donors who have laparoscopic nephrectomy will be discharged from hospital two to four days after surgery. Most donors will be able to bathe, dress and fully care for themselves by the time they leave the hospital.
In general, you should avoid lifting anything heavier than 10 pounds for four to six weeks after surgery. This will let your muscles to heal properly.
You should be fully recovered within four to six weeks.