Life After Kidney Transplant Surgery

Life After Surgery

Although you have a new kidney, sometimes it takes a while for it to work properly. You may need dialysis until the new kidney functions normally. Sometimes it can take several weeks to a month before the kidney works well. If you continue to need dialysis, you will still get all the medication for your new kidney and follow the same routines as other transplant patients. The difference would be that your diet, fluid intake, and medications are adjusted to make up for your kidney not working completely.

What to Expect When You Go Home After Surgery

Remember, the first month after surgery you are on the highest dose of immunosuppressive drugs. You are more likely to get an infection then. Stay away from people that are sick, especially those who might have a cold, the measles, mumps, chicken pox, or the flu. Try to avoid crowded areas at first, such as movie theaters, airports, schools, or public transportation. If there is a crowded situation you feel you cannot avoid, ask your transplant nurse for advice You do not need to rearrange your lifestyle in your own home. Routine washing and rinsing of dishes is sufficient. Bed linens can be washed normally. Avoid sharing eating utensils, towels, and toothbrushes. Check your weight and temperature every day. Remember that since some of the medications you take may make your skin more sensitive, avoid long exposure to direct sunlight, and use a strong sunscreen (at least SPF 30) before you go outside.

It is important to take you medications strictly as directed. They are important to keep your new kidney functioning correctly. If you miss any medication, if you are unable to keep your medications down due to vomiting, or if you are getting dehydrated from excessive diarrhea, you need to get in touch with us at the transplant clinic immediately. Keeping good drug levels in the bloodstream is essential for good function of your organ. In the period after your transplant, you also will need to record your blood pressure and how much you are drinking and voiding.

Follow-up Clinical Visits

Follow-up clinic visits are required for all transplant patients. Before you go home, your transplant team will tell you when your first clinic visit is scheduled. You will visit the clinic three times a week for the first month following your transplant; appointments will spread out over time. During your clinic visit, you will have blood tests and a physical exam, which will determine if you need any adjustments on your medications.