After liver transplantation surgery, most people will eventually be able to return to most of their normal activities and have a good quality of life. Recuperating from this surgery can be a long process. It can take up to a year to recover fully.
Even though gradually building up your activities after a few weeks usually be the approximate period to start. So here are some of the post-care measures for people who have undergone liver transplantation surgery:
Tips for Wound Care and Hygiene
Hands hygiene – The first step to caring for your wounds is washing your hands frequently and properly with an antiseptic solution or soap.
And it would help best if your family members practiced the same procedures for your safety.
Nail hygiene – You should cut your fingernails to avoid the accumulation of dirt particles between the nails. It would be best if you kept it short and neat always.
Oral hygiene – Your oral which is the entry point of your body’s internals, should be maintained clean, especially when you had surgery. So, practice brushing your teeth twice daily and rinsing the mouth after every meal.
Avoid moisture – The dressing should be replaced twice or thrice every week and should be maintained dry because moisture attracts microbes. It would help if you avoided bathing not to get the wound soaked in water.
Keep it dry – You can try using waterproof dressings as well, and to change clothes on a daily basis, care should be taken by a trustable helper.
It might be staples or stitches, but try to keep the wound clean and dry always. You can resume your daily baths once the staples are removed.
Keep an eye for infection – If any puss or watery fluid discharges out of the wound, there is a probability of an infection. It’s important to reach out to the transplant team immediately if such an event takes place.
The healing process can be speeded up by a repressed infection and, if left unnoticed, lead to some serious complications unintentionally.
Tips for Recovering Faster
Underlying are some of the measures that one can practice to improve the chances of healing from the surgery and lacking infection:
- Avoid visitors – You and your family should avoid friends, other family members, and visitors for the first few weeks. Because they might be a carrier of any sort of common ailments such as flu, fever, cold, etc., as they might be transmittable.
- Clean your residence – It would be best to clean the house with disinfectants.
- Stay close to help -The housing where the patient is recovering should be in closer proximity to the hospital preferably. There should be the availability of transportation twenty-four hours a day.
- Medications – You should always try to take your medicines on time that is prescribed by your doctors.
- Regain strength – You should try to avoid using wheelchairs and should try and walk as much as possible to regain strength instead.
- Avoid animal contact – The more you avoid contact with animals and birds, it prevents the chances of transmissible infections. Being out of the home should be avoided as much as possible in the first few months.
How to Keep Your Liver Healthy?
Here are some tips to keep your new liver healthy after liver transplant surgery:
Regular check-ups may be advised by your doctor once a week to begin with. They may be needed every few months or once a year only after a while.
You’ll have regular follow-up appointments at the beginning to get checked on how well your new liver is working.
You will need to take medicines called immunosuppressants to stop your body from attacking your new liver for the rest of your life.
There are numerous types of immunosuppressant therapy, but they can cause some unpleasant side effects. Without speaking to a doctor first, never stop taking them continuously.
Food and Diet
Even though most people will not require a special diet after a liver transplant, a normal balanced diet will help you recover faster and keep you healthy. Sometimes you might also be advised to get extra help from a nutritionist.
Obviously, we all know that alcohol is really bad for the liver. But after a liver transplant, you may or may not consume alcohol depending on the reason for your surgery in the first place.
In simple words, if the previous problem was caused by misuse of alcohol, you are advised not to consume alcohol never again.
The patient must rest after getting discharged from the hospital is good and start gentle activities once they feel better. You can choose mild exercises such as walking and gradually increase your duration over time.
And it would be best if you avoid contact sports and swimming for several months. Because there is a risk of injury or infection until you fully recover from your surgery.
Sex and Pregnancy
Many women are able to get pregnant after a liver transplant surgery. But one must avoid getting pregnant for at least a year. If you get pregnant at any point, it is important to let your consultant know. It is because your medicine needs to be changed, and you may need extra special care post-transplant.
Avoid driving for up to two months because the transplant surgery and medicine can affect the vision and reaction. So your ability to perform emergency stops will be inefficient.
Going back to work
Some people are able to return to work after three months because they need to be off work, depending on how quickly they recover. Everyone may vary in this aspect as it is reliable on their physical condition.
As we know liber transplant surgery is a major surgery not only in the terms of health but also financially. A liver transplant surgery costs a patient a huge amount of money.
Even in countries like India where medical surgery is considered cheaper, the liver transplant cost in India is also not easily affordable for everyone.
Therefore a patient who went through liver transplant surgery must follow the doctor’s advice for a successful recovery and a healthy life post-surgery.