After you leave the hospital, you will keep getting care for your transplant. This is also a time when you’ll have to do some things differently than before. Having a good support system and looking after your mental health will help with your recovery.
Appointments at the kidney transplant centre
After you leave the hospital, you will need to come back to the transplant centre for appointments with your post-transplant team to have blood tests to see how well your new kidney is working. Most patients have these appointments 2 to 3 times each week for the first 6 weeks after your transplant. Each visit will take about 2 hours. After 6 weeks, most patients will have fewer appointments.
On the day of your appointments, you will need to be at the hospital before 7 a.m. so your post-transplant team has your blood test results before your appointment. Bring your medicines with you to your appointments as you have to wait to take them until after your blood tests are done. You may also want to bring water and pack a snack on the day of your appointments.
Ask a friend or family member to come with you if you think you’ll need help finding your way at the hospital.
Care after your transplant
During your appointments in the first few weeks, the transplant team will also teach you about caring for yourself after the transplant. You will meet with different members of your transplant team including the transplant coordinator, the transplant doctor, transplant pharmacist, social worker, and the dietitian.
We also encourage you to meet with a physiotherapist and occupational therapist at the transplant centre and in your community (if these services are available) to help you with your recovery.
Remember it’s very important to stay away from public places where you can easily catch a cold, flu, or other type of infection.
Driving after your transplant
You won’t be able to drive for the first 4 weeks after you leave the hospital while you heal. Ask friends or family, or look into other ways to get you to your appointments while you’re not able to drive. It’s also a good idea to have a back-up plan in case someone isn’t able to drive you to your appointments.
Have a good support system
You will need help after you leave the hospital. Having a good support system is an important part of your recovery and well-being. Support people can help you with child or pet care, grocery shopping, cooking, and other day-to-day tasks.
Even if you’ve prepared your home well and made arrangements before your transplant, you will likely still need some help. Plan on having a support system and arrange for someone to stay with you for at least 1 to 2 weeks after you leave the hospital.
Don’t be afraid to ask family and friends for help. The more people you have to help you, the better. Let your support people know what kinds of help you need and how often you’ll need their help so they can also plan for changes they may need to make to their schedules.