SW Transplant Centre - Changing lives through medical care

SW Transplant

After the operation and beyond

Pain and discomfort

Following your operation, you will find that several lines have been inserted whilst you were in theatre to help with monitoring and treatment. This is all normal.

A central venous line will have been inserted in a vein in your neck. This will allow the doctors and nurses to monitor the amount of fluid in your body. It will also be used to take blood samples and give drugs when required. This line will usually remain for five days.

Getting back on your feet

The day after your operation you will be encouraged to get out of bed. Increasing your mobility will help you recover. Most people are able to go home eight to ten days following their transplant operation. Some patients occassionally, do encounter some problems and may need to stay in hospital a little longer.

Continuing your fluid balance

You will be encouraged to drink three litres of fluid a day whilst in hospital and it’s important to continue to drink two to three litres when you go home.

Emotions

This is a time of extreme emotions.

Even if a transplant goes very well and looks like getting rid of all the problems encountered on dialysis, there can still be many problems. These include the stress of many clinic visits and waiting for those all-important blood results. About a half of transplant recipients are readmitted into hospital in the first three months after a transplant for tests or treatment of problems and it is natural to be afraid that the new kidney could fail. Later on, even after a few years, you still have to take tablets all the time.

Contolling your immune system

You have to keep your new kidney healthy by taking immunosuppressive drugs to suppress your body’s natural reaction to reject it. The members of the South West Transplant Centre (doctors, nurses and a specialist pharmacist) will teach you what drugs to take and when to take them. And be reassured that there is always someone from the Transplant Centre on hand to advise you if you are not sure what to do – just a telephone call away.

What could go wrong

There are two things you need to look out for:

Although your immunosuppressive drugs will benefit you by preventing rejection of your kidney, they will also lower your resistance to infections such as urinary infection, chest infection, dental infection and skin infections. Particularly in the first few months you will need to avoid contact with people who have infections such as colds and ‘flu’. If you think you might have an infection it is important you go on the right antibiotic as quickly as possible.

There is an ongoing risk that your body could reject your kidney. There is a delicate balance between taking enough immunosuppressive drugs to prevent rejection and taking too many that will reduce your resistance to infection to a dangerous level. Through regular hospital appoinments and blood tests this can be picked up quickly and dealt with.

Will my kidney last forever?

On average they last between 10 and 12 years sometimes much longer. Most transplanted kidneys fail because of rejection that develops slowly over a number of years.

By attending your hospital appointments and taking your medications regularly on time will prolong your transplanted kidneys function.

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