Kidney Transplant Surgery: How to Take Care of Your New Kidney

Undergoing a kidney transplantation surgery is an immensely serious and complex undertaking that could take months to prepare and more if you are waiting for a kidney donor. For most individuals, all the regular dialysis treatments will be worth it in the end once they receive the good news of a compatible donor. If you are fortunate enough to be blessed with a new kidney, keep in mind that your recovery and the success of your kidney transplant will depend on many things.

The Importance of Self-Care

The majority of transplant patients typically return to their normal lives in about four to eight weeks after their surgery. You could help yourself and reduce your risk of developing complications by doing the following:

  • Following smart and healthy lifestyle choices such as working out regularly, eating right, quitting smoking, and not drinking alcohol.
  • Take all your medications as instructed by your doctor.
  • Look out for potential warning signs of rejection and side effects.
  • Getting support from family, friends, and professionals whenever needed.

Exercise and Good Nutrition is Crucial Too

Expect to feel weak or tired following your surgery. As part of your post kidney transplant care, you will need to build your endurance and energy. You’ll probably undergo physical therapy while you’re still in the hospital. But once you go home, refrain from doing any heavy lifting and strenuous exercises—stick to walking and gentle stretches for at least six months following your transplant.

You will also need to make sure that you eat well to fight off infection and hasten your recovery. You will likewise need to restore your protein levels to help rebuild your muscles. It’s best that you seek help from a nutritionist to help you develop a proper eating plan that fits your exacts needs and helps manage any coexisting health issues like high cholesterol, high blood pressure, or diabetes.

You need to eat more fruits and vegetables, but you need to avoid certain foods such as fatty and salty foods. Build a diet high on fiber and lean protein, and drink more water. It’s best if you have a water softener so that it could remove minerals in hard water that could affect your body.

What to Know About Kidney Rejection

Take note that you have an increased risk of infection, particularly during the first six months following your transplantation surgery. To help your body accept your new kidney, you must take immuno-suppressant drugs and antirejection medication for the remainder of your life. That being said, be on the lookout for these warning signs of kidney rejection:

  • Fever
  • Significant weakness and fatigue
  • Tenderness or pain in the transplant site
  • High blood pressure
  • Sudden and unexplained weight gain
  • Swelling of the feet and/or hands
  • Reduced urine output

Call your doctor right away if you’re experiencing these rejection warnings signs. Know that rejection does not automatically mean that you’ll lose your transplanted kidney, but you will need prompt treatment to avoid further complications. It’s likewise crucial to note that some individuals won’t experience rejection warning signs until it’s too late, so it’s vital that you visit your doctor regularly and follow the recommended checkup and lab test schedule.

Remember that the success of your kidney transplantation surgery would be dependent on many factors, but being dedicated and proactive about your pose kidney transplant care will go a long way towards ensuring the best possible outcomes for your case.

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