If you're living with a transplant, "rejection" is a word that can send shivers up your spine. But organ rejection is often not as bad as it sounds. As scary as the word may be, it doesn't mean necessarily that you're going to lose the organ. It often means your medication needs to be adjusted. Once you've established a new medication regimen that works, you can usually go back to business as usual.
But that doesn't mean you can ignore the problem. Be on the lookout for the signs of rejection. Symptoms vary depending on the kind of organ transplant you've had. General signs include:
Drugs are taken that suppress your immune system after an organ transplant. Unfortunately, they are powerful and can affect your entire body. That means they affect your whole body instead of just the immune response to your transplanted organ.
So the bad news is that you may have some side effects. The good news is that side effects are much easier to cope with than they once were.
The specific side effects vary. It depends on the combination of post-transplant medicines you use. Here's a general...
See your health care provider right away if you have any of these symptoms.
Organ rejection can be acute or chronic. It's fairly common to have an episode of acute rejection within a year of your transplant. Sometimes, acute rejection leads to chronic rejection. This is when an organ slowly loses its ability to function.
Rejection becomes less likely over time. But you're never quite out of the woods. It may develop even years after the surgery. That's why it's key to keep on top of your condition and get regular checkups.