Transplant and Pulmonary Hypertension
Returning Home: Life 1 Day to 6 Months After Transplant
As you prepare to leave the hospital, your transplant team will teach you how and when to take your medicines, how to care for your incision and cover the details of the recovery process. They will also give you a variety of instructions about everyday life post-transplant and will schedule you for a variety of clinical follow-ups, which will occur several times a week at first and then slowly drop off until eventually you are visiting your transplant physician only bimonthly or when you have problems or questions. At these appointments, you will undergo chest x-rays, blood tests and walk tests, as well as lung biopsies to ensure that your body is not rejecting the new organ.
As with any major surgery, your body will be a bit fragile as it recovers from the transplant operation.
During the first six weeks after your operation you should take the following precautions:
- Do not drive.
- Do not lift more than ten pounds.
- Do not perform strenuous household chores or garden.
- Walk and climb stairs at a comfortable pace and increase activity as tolerated each day.
- Prior to resuming sexual activity, consult your physician.
- Check your incision daily and report any redness, swelling or pain to your transplant team.
- Avoid crowds.
Additionally, your transplant team will ask you to monitor your temperature, weight, blood pressure and lung volume on a daily basis. It is essential that you follow their instructions for monitoring and reporting any changes.
One final note to keep in mind as you begin the recovery process is that you will inevitably have good days and bad days. Do not get discouraged by days that you do not feel well physically or emotionally. This is a natural part of the healing process. Try to focus your energy on taking care of yourself and enjoying the benefits of your new lungs!