Receiving a new organ means something pretty close to a rebirth for the patient who gets it. It is a chance to overcome a health crisis and assume a new future.
However, a transplant is not as simple as changing a chip and going on as if nothing had happened. Early care and long-term changes in life habits are simple yet fundamental to live this new life successfully.
Some of the recommendations given by the Massachusetts General Hospital regarding this issue are:
Surgical wound care
This is one of the most immediate basic issues in care. In order to avoid any sort of infection in the wound, it must be washed every day with water and soap, avoiding the use of other kinds of elements.
During the first days after the transplant, when the patient is outdoors, they must use a high-flow mask in order to avoid a possible contagion or infection, as during this time the patient’s system will still be very weak and its capacity to fight infections will be diminished. Try to remain isolated from people with a cold, flu, a virus, or contagious diseases.
After the transplant has taken place, it is advisable to take a daily one-hour walk as the sole means of exercise. Then, physical exercise may be increased gradually into other sports such as swimming and cycling, but still avoiding high-impact activities that may injure the area of the implant.
Care and hygiene in preparing foods are fundamental to avoid any infection or the appearance of symptoms such as diarrhea and vomit. The most important thing is to clean foods thoroughly and making sure that these are well cooked.
In terms of what foods to eat, there are very few restrictions or precautions, as long as a balanced and healthy diet is followed. It is important to maintain a level of salt that does not affect blood pressure, and also to consume less sugar in order to control blood sugar levels. It is also crucial to avoid having a diet rich in foods that may lead the patient to becoming overweight.
In the long term, this will be one of the fundamental care issues throughout the life of the transplant receiver. Immunosuppressants are drugs that prevent the transplanted organ from being rejected by the organism; therefore, it is fundamental that their intake is followed correctly according to the recommended times and dosage. Inform your doctors about the transplant you’ve had and the drugs you are taking, as well as any symptom that you might present related to them.