What can you expect afterward?
After a transplant, many people say they feel better than they have in years. What you can and can't do will depend on the type of transplant you had, other health problems you have, and how your body reacts to the new organ.
You will have to take daily antirejection medicines to prevent your immune system from rejecting the new organ. You will need less of these medicines as time goes by. Because these medicines weaken your immune system, you may have to stay away from large crowds for a while and stay away from people who have infections.
You will also have regular checkups and blood tests to see how well your new organ is working.
Depression is common after an organ transplant. If you think you may be depressed, get help. The earlier depression is treated, the more quickly you will feel better.
You may need to make some lifestyle changes to keep your new organ healthy and strong. This can include eating healthy foods, getting regular exercise, and getting enough sleep.
Who can be an organ donor?
Most people can be organ donors. If you are interested in donating an organ, contact the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) at 1-888-894-6361 or go online at www.unos.org to get more information and to locate the nearest transplant center.
Many people choose to donate an organ upon their death. But a person can donate certain organs while he or she is still living. These people are called "living donors."