Post Transplant Care

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Post-Liver Transplant Care

For patients with end-stage liver disease, primary liver cancer and acute liver failure, liver transplant has become a ray of hope. Post-transplant care is equally important to prevent graft rejection, prevent post-transplant infection and disease recurrence.

In order to have successful, long-term outcome after transplant, the following precautions are mandatory for the patients to take at home following discharge from the hospital:

  • The house should have good ventilation and the patient should wear a mask while going out for the first 3 months post-surgery. Patient should practice strict hand hygiene and must use separate towels while shower to avoid infection.
  • The recipient should be given an ample diet rich in protein and clean, filtered drinking water. Raw food, salads, sweets and fruits high in sugar should be avoided. The patient should strictly not smoke neither consume alcohol or gutka/tobacco.
  • The patient might need insulin in the first 3 months. Patient should not skip medications and the relatives should also make sure that the patient complies with the prescribed medications.
  • The patient can perform mild exercises to build up stamina; however, they should not lift any weight above 5 kgs or do abdominal exercises and swimming before 3 months. A physiotherapist specialized in transplant recovery will help the patient in exercise schedule.
  • The recipient should never miss the follow up appointment. This will help the transplant surgeon to monitor the risk of heart disease, diabetes or high blood pressure, if any.

Post-Pancreas Transplant Care

The patient will be prescribed medications to prevent organ rejection, called immunosuppressants, and our team of surgeons will monitor you for signs of organ rejection. The transplant and infection control team teaches the patient to recognize the signs of infection. The patient will be provided long-term follow-up care for the rest of the life. In the first year after transplant, the patient is asked for follow up in every few weeks to test the blood regularly for the first few weeks to check blood sugar levels and pancreas function. Most patients are insulin-free immediately after surgery. In some cases, it can take 24-48 hours.

The surgeon checks the incision to ensure it is healing well. Gradually, visits will be reduced to every 2 months then later every 6 -12 months. Transplant surgeons and a certified clinical transplant coordinator (CCTC) provide this care, partnering with the patient’s primary care physician, nephrologist and endocrinologist.

In any untoward case of organ rejection, which will be evident by symptoms like fever, fatigue, abdominal pain or high blood sugar, the patients should report the same immediately to the transplant surgeon. It’s important to treat rejection as soon as possible to avoid complications. It is also possible to have a rejection without any signs or symptoms. These rejections can be detected through lab results, which is why it is extremely important that patient follows the routine lab schedule, even if he/she feels great. When rejection is caught early, it can be treated and reversed.