After discharge from the hospital, you will regularly visit the Organ Transplant Program outpatient clinic. At each clinic visit, you will have lab work (blood tests) to assess your liver function and the level of immunosuppression. The transplant surgeon will assess your healing from the surgery. Your fluid intake and output will be monitored, and medication changes will be made.
Common post-transplant tests may include:
- Abdominal Ultrasound
- Abdominal MRI or CT Scan
- Blood Tests
- Chest x-ray
- Liver Biopsy
During the first two weeks after you leave the hospital, you will come to the clinic two times a week. Clinic visits become less frequent in the following weeks and months. This schedule depends in part on your recovery.
Since you will be restricted from driving for four weeks after surgery, you will need to arrange transportation to the clinic.
Out-of-the-area patients (those living one hour or more away from the hospital) are required to stay close to the hospital after discharge. The Organ Transplant Program can offer financial assistance for housing as needed so that you can stay at a local apartment while receiving outpatient treatment. Out-of-state patients should be prepared to stay in Seattle for six to eight weeks following transplant.
The total transplant recovery period varies with each person and depends on your new organ’s function, the possibility of rejection, the amount of medication needed and complications. Most patients return to work about eight weeks after being discharged from the hospital. Your physician will make recommendations regarding activity level, when to resume exercising and when it is appropriate to return to work. Our social worker will be available to help you with issues related to returning to work or specific home situations.
You are the new caretaker for your new liver. The Swedish Transplant Program will provide lifelong support to assist you in caring for your new liver. Regular visits to the Transplant clinic are an important part of your care after you leave the hospital.