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Post Surgery

Taking Care of Yourself After Surgery

Life after transplant surgery can be complex. Our only goal is to make sure that you have a good outcome and we will do everything we can to make that happen. We are dedicated to making sure you’re prepared to live the life you’ve dreamed of and be prepared for challenges that may come along on your road to recovery.


In The Hospital

After the surgery you will be taken to the intensive care unit and given pain medication. Transplantation surgeries usually require an in-hospital stay of several days.

During this time you’ll be monitored closely to make sure your organ properly functions. You will receive IV fluids until you are able to take in adequate food and fluids. Your immunosuppression (antirejection) medications will be closely monitored. Blood samples will be taken to monitor the status of the new organ, as well as other body functions.

Your diet will be gradually advanced from liquids to more solid foods as you tolerate them. Maintaining a healthy diet is critical to your transplantation success. Your liquid intake may be restricted until the new organ is fully functional. Your physician may clear you to begin physical activity as soon as the day after the procedure.

Nurses, pharmacists, dietitians, physical therapists, and other members of the transplant team will teach you how to live with your heart, liver, kidney or pancreatic transplant once you are discharged from the hospital.

 

 

At Home

Once you are home, it is important to manage your transplant wound including keeping the surgical area clean and dry. Your physician will give you specific bathing instructions. The stitches or surgical staples will be removed during a follow-up office visit.

 

 

You should not drive until your physician clears you to do so. You should avoid any activity or position that causes pressure to be placed on the transplanted organ. Other actii guessvity restrictions may apply.

Understanding how to prevent an infection after your transplant surgery is critical to your recovery. Notify your physician if you experience any of the following:

  • Fever, which may be a sign of rejection or infection
  • Redness, swelling, bleeding or other drainage from the incision site
  • Increase in pain around the incision site, which may be a sign of rejection or infection

 

 

An elevation of your blood creatinine level (blood test to measure kidney function) and/or blood pressure (monitored by your physician) may indicate rejection.  Consult your transplant team with any concerns you have.

Your physician may give you additional or alternate instructions after the procedure, depending on your individual situation.

 

“Our only goal is to make sure that you have a good outcome.” Shimul Shah, MD Director, Liver Transplant Program

 

Beyond

You will be given medications for the rest of your life to prevent rejection. It is important to understand and manage your medications.

Each person may react differently to medications, and each transplant team has preferences for different medications. The anti-rejection medications most commonly used singly, or in combination, include:

  • Tacrolimus
  • Azathioprine
  • Mycophenolate mofetil
  • Prednisone
  • Belatecept
  • Antilymphocyte Globulin
  • Sirolimus

 

 

Physicians tailor medication plans to meet the needs of each individual patient.

Usually several anti-rejection medications are given initially. The doses of these medications may change in the early weeks following transplantation. Because anti-rejection medications affect the immune system, you will be at higher risk for infections. A balance must be maintained between preventing rejection and making you very susceptible to infection.

Some of the infections you will be especially susceptible to include oral yeast infection (thrush), herpes, and respiratory viruses. You should avoid contact with crowds and anyone who has an infection for the first few months after your surgery.

Preparing for a Transplant

Before Surgery
We will educate and prepare you to face your surgery with confidence and clear understanding of all that is involved.

The Day of Your Surgery

During Surgery
Understanding what will happen the day of your transplant is important for your peace of mind.