Recovery from liver transplant surgery is difficult and takes time. Whether you receive a liver from a deceased or living donor, you will need to follow a strict plan to recover and get back to your day-to-day life.
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Caregivers for Liver Transplant Recipients
Following a liver transplant, you are going to need some help. Make sure you have a friend or family member who can be your caregiver. This person will need to:
- Help you take all of your medications correctly and at the right time.
- Drive you to appointments. You will not be able to drive for at least six to eight weeks after your transplant.
- Run errands and help with chores around the house. You will not be able to lift anything heavy or do anything too strenuous until your body has had a chance to heal.
Anti-Rejection Drugs After Liver Transplant
The first few months after your transplant are often the most challenging. During this time, you may be more likely to get an infection, so it’s critical to take all your medications and stay in touch with your doctor.
The most important part of recovery is ensuring your body accepts its new organ. Your body’s immune system — which can tell the difference between your body’s cells and new cells, in this case an organ — may try to reject the new liver because it may see it as a threat.
After your liver transplant, you will have to take immunosuppression drugs to help your body get used to your new organ. While taking immunosuppressive drugs, you will be at a higher risk for infections or the flu. So, it is very important to:
- Practice good hand-washing habits
- Avoid people with infections or recent immunizations
- Take extra care when handling sharp objects
Tips for Staying Healthy After a Liver Transplant
A healthy lifestyle is important after liver transplant. Healthy living helps your body heal and make the most of its new liver. These tips will help you stay healthy after your transplant:
Eat a Healthy Diet
Eat a well-balanced diet after your liver transplant, including:
- Fruits and vegetables
- Whole grain foods
- Lean meats, poultry, and fish
- Low-fat or fat-free dairy products
It is vital that you do not drink after your transplant to prevent liver damage. Learn more about the benefits of giving up alcohol.
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About Transplant Services
For more than four decades, UPMC Transplant Services has been a leader in organ transplantation. Our clinicians have performed more than 20,000 organ transplant procedures, making UPMC one of the foremost organ transplant centers in the world. We are home to some of the world’s foremost transplant experts and take on some of the most challenging cases. Through research, we have developed new therapies that provide our patients better outcomes — so organ recipients can enjoy better health with fewer restrictions. Above all, we are committed to providing compassionate, complete care that can change – and save – our patients’ lives. Visit our website to find a provider near you.