The liver is a vital organ in the human body. It filters blood that flows from the digestive tract and then passes it on to the various parts of the body.
Liver damage and its implications
- Liver damage can severely impair the normal functioning of the body.
- It is critical to take proper care of this organ.
- Excessive damage to the liver may necessitate a liver transplant.
- In this treatment, the defective liver is removed and a healthy liver, taken from a donor, is transplanted in its place.
- Special attention should be given after the transplant to adequate post-operative care to enable full recovery and proper functioning of the new liver.
Care in the hospital
Before starting the liver transplant procedure, the patient is administered anesthesia. It may take some time for the anesthesia to wear off after the operation.
- After the transplant, the patient is advised to stay at the ICU for a day or two for further monitoring.
- Doctors will continuously monitor the patient for any complications.
- Recovery after a liver transplant is comparatively faster than other surgeries.
- Post surgery, a patient may feel fatigued.
- It can be overcome with a good diet and medication.
- Blood tests on the patient are performed and if these are normal, the patient is moved to a general ward from the ICU.
Reputed hospitals like BLK-Max provide the best treatment. You will be continuously monitored by a team of highly capable doctors, nurses, and other medical staff. The liver transplant cost at BLK-Max is affordable compared to many other hospitals in the country.
Discharge and Care
If the patient’s condition stabilizes and there are no complications, the doctors will discharge the patient. But the patient will be advised to take precautions and continuously monitor their recovery at home.
- Family members or caregivers should be alert and keep an eye on any issue that might crop up.
- In case of any complication, the patient or the caregiver should immediately bring it to the doctor’s notice so that proper action and medication can be initiated.
To ensure that there are no problems at home, the hospital will provide the patients with instructions like precautions to be taken, tests to be conducted, proper diet plan, and other such details.
Following up with the doctor
A vital part of the liver transplant recovery process is to meet your doctor regularly. Initially, the patient will be advised to meet the doctor every week. During the checkups, the doctor may prescribe blood tests to gauge the functioning of the liver and to take appropriate action in case of any problem. Your doctor will tell you when you have fully recovered. So do not avoid a regular checkup.
Medications and the best treatment will have no effect if your diet is not nutritious. The following points should be adhered to after discharge,
- Family members or caregivers should ensure that the kitchen and home are neat and clean.
- The diet should include high proteins; the vegetables and fruits need to be fresh, washed thoroughly, and well-cooked.
- Drinking water should be clean and boiled.
- Eating heavy meals should be avoided. Eat small portions every few hours.
- Avoid dehydration by drinking plenty of water.
- Avoid junk food as it can damage the liver.
Eating healthy food and remaining hydrated will ensure that your liver works well.
The transplanted liver will benefit from light exercises and physical activity.
- Take a walk in your neighborhood or do some breathing exercises.
- Climbing steps is also a good activity but do not overdo it and exhaust yourself.
- Heavy exercises like push-ups, lifting weights and other strenuous exercises should be avoided because these will put a strain on your liver and impair your health.
Being active without exhausting yourself will be good for your liver and help in the recovery process. After a few months you can take up heavy exercises, but only on the recommendation of your doctor.
Take your medication very seriously. When a new liver is transplanted, your body may have problems adjusting to it and might reject it.
- To avoid rejection, the medical team will prescribe certain medications.
- The patient will be prescribed around 8 to 10 medicines or more to begin with.
- As the patient recovers and the liver adjusts to the new surroundings, the quantity of the medicines will be decreased.
- Medications that the patients will have to take include blood thinners, antibiotics, etc.
Though taking medicines can be quite challenging, the patient should not stop medication or decrease the quantity without taking advice from the doctor. It will seriously impact the liver.
Precautions against infections
Infections can seriously impact the recovery and create obstacles in the proper functioning of the liver. That is why caregivers should take steps to protect the patients from infection.
- Dirt and unhygienic surroundings can give rise to infection.
- It is advisable to keep the house clean and thoroughly wash utensils and garments before use.
- Restrict visitors after your surgery.
- If any visitor has flu, cough, or cold, the patient might catch it and complications can arise.
- Ensure that your house is not overcrowded with relatives and friends.
- Taking medicines on time and washing your hands thoroughly before and after every meal will also keep infections at bay.
Recovering from a liver transplant will take time. But you need to ensure adequate post-operative care to ensure that the recovery after liver transplant is quick, efficient, and complication-free.