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Organ Transplant

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Staying Healthy

Preventing organ rejection

To keep your new organ healthy and to help you live longer after an organ transplant:

  • Keep your doctor appointments. Regular follow-up with your doctor is important to check for organ rejection.
  • Get regular blood and tissue tests so your doctor knows whether the new organ is accepted or rejected. Rejection doesn't mean that you will lose the new organ. Adding or changing medicines may still prevent rejection.
  • Take your medicines exactly as prescribed. Talk with your doctor to make sure you understand what to do if you miss a dose.
  • Don't take any nonprescription medicines, such as cold remedies or herbal remedies, before talking with your doctor. Other medicines may interact poorly with your antirejection medicines.
  • Know the side effects of the antirejection medicines. If you have severe side effects, tell your doctor right away.

Taking steps to stay healthy

To help you and your new organ stay healthy:

  • Get regular exercise. Activities like walking, exercises in the water, and yoga can help you keep your body and new organ healthy.
    actionset.gif Fitness: Walking for Wellness
  • Eat regular, healthy meals to control your weight, blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar levels. Be sure to get plenty of calcium and vitamin D to help prevent osteoporosis, or thinning bones.
  • Watch for changes from how you normally feel, how much energy you have, and how active you are. This can help you identify new problems as they come up.
  • Tell your dentist that you have had an organ transplant. The antirejection medicines may increase your risk of mouth infections. Special precautions may be needed in teeth cleaning or other dental work.
  • Stay away from people who are sick. Your immune system is weakened by the antirejection drugs. Before you do any traveling, talk with your doctor to see if you need to take any precautions.
  • Carry a medical identification card or wear a medical ID bracelet camera.gif that states that you have had an organ transplant.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: May 18, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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