[PDF] Post-operative care in the kidney transplant recipient

Renal Association
Renal Association;British Transplantation Society
Publication date:
12 May 2017


This document is intended for those engaged in the care of kidney transplant recipients (KTR) who are nonexperts. With increasing efforts to deliver health care locally, many renal transplant recipients are followed up in centres remote from the main surgical transplant unit. At the same time, transplantation medicine has evolved into an increasingly complex and specialised field of nephrology. The following guidelines reflect this alteration in clinical practice and are intended for those healthcare professionals who look after renal transplant patients. They are also intended to be useful to both medical and surgical trainees, general practitioners, nurse specialists and other associated healthcare professionals involved in the care of renal transplant patients.

These guidelines cover the period after renal transplantation, specifically from initial hospital discharge until graft failure or patient death. The management of KTR can be divided into two phases:

  • an early post-operative phase when prevention of acute rejection, optimization of graft function and prevention of opportunistic infection are paramount
  • a later phase when the aims are to preserve good graft function, ensure adherence to medication, and prevent the long-term consequences of immunosuppression – malignancy, infection and premature cardiovascular disease.