A kidney transplant is a major surgical procedure during which the damaged kidney is replaced with a healthy new kidney from a donor. It is performed for those patients whose kidneys have stopped working due to any reason. After undergoing the transplant, the patient will have to follow strict guidelines for aftercare in order to have a speedy recovery.
Keep the wounds clean
During the post surgical period, you should take bath as instructed by your doctor. Gently wash the surgical area and pat it dry with a towel. Put a fresh bandage as directed. Do not apply pressure to rub the stitches.
Keep up with all the appointments
Your doctor needs to monitor several parameters to check the function of the transplanted kidneys, and may change your medication or dosage during your follow-up visits. Always ask your doctor for the date of next follow-up.
Do not miss any medications
Take the medicines as prescribed by your doctor. If you miss any dose, do not take twice the amount of the usual dose. Continue taking medications normally.
If any of the medicines are not as effective as expected, call up your doctor. Your doctor may change the medication or dosage if required.
Watch what you eat and drink
Your nutritional needs also differ after the surgery. This is to assist in rapid healing and prevent infections. Follow the dietary instructions as provided by your nutritionist. Drink enough fluids (non-alcoholic) every day. Do not just drink only when you feel thirsty.
Watch your habits
Try to cut down on alcohol because some of the drugs can interact with alcohol and produce unwanted effects. Do not smoke as it can hurt your transplanted kidney. By doing so, you are helping both yourself and the people surrounding you.
Keep an eye on unusual signs
If you experience signs of rejection, such as tenderness over your kidney transplant area, less urine output than usual, sudden weight gain, etc., then you must immediately call up your health care coordinator. It may be temporarily treated by increasing the dose of anti-rejection medicine (anti-rejection medicines suppress the immune system to prevent rejection of new kidney).
Monitor certain parameters
If you have other associated conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure, keep those under control. You should regularly monitor your blood glucose levels and blood pressure as directed by your doctor.
Minimize your activities
It is recommended not to drive for at least two to three weeks following kidney transplantation. You need to rest often. You should also avoid crowded places and excessive sun exposure.
Do exercise regularly
To regain your strength, your physical therapist will ask you to perform certain exercises. The best activity you can do is walking every day. You should not perform strenuous exercises such as lifting heavy objects at least for six months after the surgery. Do not participate in heavy sports as they can increase the risk of injuries.
Maintain a healthy body weight because excess weight can lead to serious health problems.
Following the above instructions can help you to resume your daily activities as early as possible after a kidney transplant. If you are not certain of any of the above, you can always contact your health care team members for help. Do not lose the chance for a quick recovery. Simply stick to these easy measures and get the maximum benefit.