Liver transplants have revolutionized treatments for individuals diagnosed with liver disease, liver cancer, and liver failure. Replacing a damaged liver with a healthy liver is an effective treatment for liver disease, however, postoperative care plays an extremely important role to witness long-term benefits after the transplant.
Your diet has a significant impact on your overall health. It is imperative you have a healthy and balanced diet for quick recovery after a liver transplant. All your food must be properly washed and cooked as you are at a higher risk of catching foodborne infections. Liver transplant patients must also stay away from foods high in cholesterol and sugar and refrain from smoking and consuming alcohol. Additionally, you should drink enough water throughout the day.
Along with a healthy diet, exercise also helps a patient return to their regular routine soon after a major surgery like a liver transplant. After your surgery, doctors will allow walking, bending, and climbing stairs. While you may feel discomfort near the site of your operation, don’t delay exercise. Exercising will help you strengthen your muscles, increase blood circulation, and reduce the risk of venous thrombosis (blood clots in a deep vein). However, all exercises must be supervised by a physical therapist, to avoid complications.
After a surgery like a liver transplant, patients need to take immunosuppressants. Immunosuppressants weaken the immune system so your body doesn’t reject your new liver. Due to your weakened immune system, you are more likely to catch infections. To avoid such infections it’s important that you:
- Wash your hands well
- Avoid touching people who have an infection or have been recently vaccinated
- Be careful when using sharp objects
- Avoid sharing razors and eating utensils
When Should You Get Medical Help?
If you face any of the following, contact your doctor immediately:
- High fever,
- Yellow skin or eyes,
- Pale stool or dark urine,
- Swelling, or
A liver transplant can give you a new lease on life. Therefore, it’s important that you take good take care of yourself and your new liver.
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