may have to wait days, months, or years for your transplant. Be patient, and
ask your doctor what you can do while you're waiting.
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 for the rest of your life to prevent your
immune system from rejecting the new organ. You will need less of these
medicines as time goes by.
Because these antirejection medicines
weaken the immune system, you may have to stay away from large crowds for a while and
stay away from people who have infections. Be sure you talk to your doctor before you take any
nonprescription medicines, such as cold remedies. These medicines may cause
problems with your antirejection medicines.
You will also have
regular checkups and blood tests to see how well your new organ is
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. Your
doctor can help you plan any needed changes. Keeping in touch with your
transplant coordinator and your local primary doctor, taking your medicines,
going to your doctor appointments, and making lifestyle changes are all
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." To be a living donor, you must be in good health
and be physically fit, free from long-term diseases such as diabetes or high
blood pressure, free from mental health problems, and between the ages of 18