You can keep your new organ healthy
and prolong your life after an
organ transplant by:
Keeping your doctor appointments. Regular
contact with your doctor means new illnesses such as infections or other
possibly life-threatening problems may be detected and treated early. Also,
regular follow-up with your doctor is important for monitoring rejection, a
concern that never goes away. Your doctor will also check you closely for
medicine side effects.
Getting regular blood and tissue tests.
This is the only way that your doctor will be able to tell if your body is
rejecting the new organ, if you are having serious side effects from the
medicines, or if you are getting a new illness. Remember that just because you
develop rejection does not mean that you will lose the new organ. If it is
caught early, you may be given additional or different medicines to prevent
rejection. But in order to catch the rejection or new illness early, you must
have regular blood monitoring.
Taking your medicines exactly as
prescribed. Medicines after a transplant are critical to your health. Talk with
your doctor to make sure you understand what to do if you miss a dose. For some
people, it helps to organize daily medicines by placing the pills in containers
marked with the days of the week. Other people find it easier to set an alarm
for the times they need to take medicines. When you make your own plan for
taking your daily medicines, it will be easy to remember.
your doctor immediately if you have an adverse reaction to a
Not taking any nonprescription medicines, such as cold
remedies, before talking with your doctor. These medicines may interact poorly
with your antirejection medicines. Also, do not take any
herbal remedies without first talking about it with
Lifestyle activities that you can do to keep healthy and
prolong the life of your new organ may include:
Getting regular exercise. It is important to
keep your muscles strong or it will become harder for you to walk, dress, or do
other daily activities. Staying in shape and not gaining weight will help keep
your body and new organ healthy. Many diseases (such as diabetes) are
associated with being overweight, and some of the medicines may put you at a
higher risk for getting these diseases. Gentle exercise such as
exercises in the water, and
yoga can help you stay in shape and can also help
reduce stress. For more information, see:
Paying attention to your
body so you can detect new illness. Knowing how you normally feel, how much
energy you have, and how active you are can help you quickly identify new
problems as they arise, because you will notice a change in your energy
Telling your dentist that you have had an organ transplant.
Special precautions may be needed in teeth cleaning or other dental work. It is
always important to keep your gums and teeth clean and healthy, but it is
especially true after a transplant. The antirejection medicines may increase
your risk of mouth infections.
Staying away from people who are
sick. Your immune system is weakened by the antirejection drugs. It is
important that you stay healthy. Before you do any traveling, talk with your
doctor to see if you need to take any precautionary
Carrying a medical identification card or wearing a
medical ID bracelet or necklace that states that you have had an organ transplant.
This information helps emergency personnel in the event you are unconscious,
severely injured, or unable to answer questions.