Staying Healthy After an Organ Transplant
Organ transplantation provides those in dire need with a second chance at an active, normal life. To return to their pre-surgical routine, transplant patients must commit to a few lifestyle changes that promote continued health and prevent tissue rejection. If you have recently received the gift of a donor organ or are currently on the waiting list, read on to learn more about living a healthy life after transplantation surgery.
- Get post-transplant testing done
During follow-up visits, the transplant team may suggest a variety of different tests to assess a patient’s health and detect any possible signs of organ rejection. A lung transplant patient, for example, may undergo a pulmonary function test to determine how efficiently the new organs are transferring oxygen into the circulating blood.
- Take steps to prevent rejection
Organ rejection occurs when the recipient’s immune system recognizes the new tissue as a foreign invader and attempts to destroy it. To prevent transplant organs from being rejected, physicians prescribe anti-rejection medications that quiet the immune system’s response to the donated tissue.
- Learn to avoid infection
While anti-rejection medications can be very effective in preventing the destruction of the donor organ, these prescriptions can also inhibit the body’s ability to fight off dangerous infectious agents such as the flu. It is important to take the necessary precautions to avoid any pathogens, especially in the months immediately following your surgery.
- Know your unique health concerns
Depending on the organ that is transplanted, an organ recipient can have an increased risk of developing certain chronic conditions after his or her procedure.If you are in line for organ transplantation, speak with your doctor about your unique risks and how to manage them.
- Carefully monitor your diet
Eating a healthy, balanced diet and participating in regular physical activity are important for all men, women, and children, but become especially important for those who undergo organ transplantation. Living healthier will help to boost immunity and hasten the recovery process.
Riverside Community Hospital is home to an advanced Transplant Program offering both kidney and kidney/pancreas transplantation. Our program strives to provide only the highest quality of individualized care for patients in need of a donor organ. Contact Riverside today at (951) 788-3000 for more information about our organ donation team.