During your stay in the hospital, the transplant team will see you each day. The team includes the transplant nephrologist, surgeon, transplant coordinator, pharmacist, social worker and your primary nurse. Additionally, you will meet with a transplant/renal nutritionist to discuss dietary needs or requests.
The transplant pharmacist will monitor the dosage and administration of the anti-rejection drugs. The pharmacist understands the many possible interactions between anti-rejection medicines and the other medicines you will be taking after your transplant.
The transplant social worker visits each transplant patient during his or her hospital stay. The social worker can assist with a wide variety of issues, including concerns about the need to be off work or helping you identify caregiving support after the transplant. The social worker is available to you when you are hospitalized and when you are an outpatient in the transplant clinic.
Without specific types of medications, your body’s immune system would react to the transplanted organ as foreign and try to reject it. Anti-rejection drugs, or immunosuppressives, are medications that help prevent your body from rejecting the transplanted organ. The development of new, more effective medications has made transplants much more successful in recent years. However, immunosuppressive medications also decrease your body’s ability to fight some infections and some types of cancer. Therefore, as a transplant patient you need to actively participate in monitoring your health. The ongoing success of your transplant depends upon taking your medications exactly as prescribed by your transplant team. (See previous section, "Post-transplant Concerns.")
You will have many changes when you receive a kidney/pancreas transplant. These changes involve your medications, diet, fluids to drink, exercise, doctor appointments and lifestyle. Some will last a few months, and some will last as long as the new organ. It is very important for you to follow these new directions carefully so that you will stay healthy and your transplant will last a long time.
A notebook with information about how to take care of yourself and your new transplant is provided to help guide you, and those who will help you. In addition, the nurses in the hospital and the nurse transplant coordinators will begin teaching you on the day after your surgery. They will continue with your education until you are confident that you know how to take care of yourself and your new organ. Educational support will continue even as you return to daily life with your new transplant
Transplant Program1101 Madison
First Hill Campus, Suite 200
Seattle, WA 98104
Phone: 206-386-3660 or 1-800-99ORGAN (1-800-996-7426)
8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
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