A liver transplant is a procedure in which you receive a healthy liver from another person. You may get a section of the liver or a whole new one. The donor can be a living human being or a dead person. Your healthcare providers will operate to remove your diseased liver and replace it with a new one.
The liver is the largest organ of your body. It performs various functions such as:
- Processing whatever you consume, such as medicines and food
- Processes hormones
- Produces bile- a substance that helps in the digestion of food absorbs fat, water-soluble vitamins, and fats
- Makes proteins that help in blood clotting
- Remove bacteria from blood
- Detoxifies the blood
- Prevents infections
- Regulates immune responses
A liver transplant is done when the person has end-stage chronic liver disease. When your liver is unable to function, your healthcare providers may advise you to get a transplant done.
In this article, we will tell you what you can expect with a liver transplant and the time it takes to recover and get back to normal life.
Your Road To Recovery
- After surgery, your belly may remain sore for one to two weeks. There may also be numbness around the incision. After a liver transplant, it may take months for you to recover fully and get back the same energy levels.
- After the transplant is done, you will need to take lifelong anti-rejection drugs. These drugs prevent the rejection of new liver. Your immune system reacts to anything foreign in the body and destroys it. Therefore it tries to reject the received liver. So, you need to take immunosuppressants that prevent rejection of the new liver you get.
- These immunosuppressant drugs suppress your immunity, leading to catching other infections. Therefore you need to exercise caution to keep yourself protected. You should avoid going to public places and wear a mask while communicating with others.
- Getting a transplant done can trigger various emotions. If you feel depressed or anxious, you can seek professional help. Moreover, you must also talk to your friends and family about how you feel.
How to Care for Yourself at Home?
You can practice the following tips to take care of yourself at home:
- Do plenty of rest. Sleep well for at least eight to ten hours. You may feel tired quickly. Do not overexert.
- Try to walk every day. Take baby steps. Do not worry if you are unable to walk much. Keep trying. Walking helps boost your immune system and improves blood flow.
- Avoid lifting weights or exercises that put weight on your belly, such as jogging or riding a bicycle. You need to abstain from physical exertion for at least four to six weeks.
- If you cough or take deep breaths, put a pillow over the incision. Otherwise, it may put pressure over the incision. Taking support can help reduce pain over your belly.
- You can take showers in the recovery period. Make sure to take good care of the wound. Pat, it dry as soon as you get out of the water.
- Observe the wound closely for any signs of infection. If you see pus exudation from the stitches or have a fever, you should consult with your healthcare provider.
- Ask your doctor when you can get back to your sex life. It is better to abstain from it in the initial period after the transplant as it may become exerting for you.
- Ask your healthcare provider about what foods you can eat after the transplant. They may allow you to get back to the normal diet slowly. Avoid alcohol intake as it can damage your liver. If you have got a liver transplant, you can visit the Best Internal Medicine Specialist in Islamabad.