A liver transplant is surgery to give you a healthy liver from another person. You may have received a whole new liver or just a section of a new liver. The new liver may have come from someone you know, a stranger, or a person who has died. Your doctor will take out your diseased liver when you get a donor liver.
Your belly and side will be sore for the first 1 to 2 weeks after surgery. You also may have some numbness around the cut (incision) the doctor made. It is common to feel tired while you are healing. It may take 2 to 4 months for your energy to fully return.
After the transplant, you must take medicine to keep your body from rejecting the new liver. You will need to take anti-rejection medicine every day for the rest of your life. These medicines have side effects. One side effect is that your body may be less able to fight infections. It is important that you take steps to avoid infections. Stay away from crowds of people and anyone who might have an infection or an illness such as a cold or the flu.
Having an organ transplant can bring up many emotions. Seek out family, friends, and counsellors for support. If you think you are depressed, ask your doctor for help. Treatment can help you feel better.
This care sheet gives you a general idea about how long it will take for you to recover. But each person recovers at a different pace. Follow the steps below to feel better as quickly as possible.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:
Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:
Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd
Enter U448 in the search box to learn more about "Liver Transplant: What to Expect at Home".
Current as of: August 14, 2016
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
© 2006-2017 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.