One year anniversary of your transplant
The first year after transplant can be hard, and you may have had some bumps along the way. We hope you are starting to feel better and your body has adjusted to the new transplant. Take time to enjoy reaching this milestone but you should be sure to take good care of yourself and your new organ. Follow this checklist to maintain good organ function and good health:
1. Take your medicines as prescribed. This includes not only your anti-rejection medicines, but those that control high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, etc.
2. Get your blood drawn as scheduled – We can often detect a problem through lab results before you feel any symptoms. We can treat the problem faster and prevent long term damage.
3. Exercise – Heart disease is a leading cause of death in patients after transplant. Exercise may prevent heart disease by helping you maintain an ideal weight. It may prevent high blood pressure and high cholesterol. It also helps keep your bones strong, and can relieve stress and improve your mood.
4. Eat healthy - Obesity has become a leading health concern in the U.S. It can lead to diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer. Making good food choices can help you stay at a healthy weight and prevent heart disease. Healthy diets have also been shown to prevent certain types of cancers.
5. See your doctors – Even though you may be doing well, you must see your transplant doctor at least once a year to check your organ function and for any complications. These results are used to ensure that you are on the right medicines and dosages. It is also a good idea to see your local primary care doctor every year for a full physical exam.
6. Get routine cancer screenings – Cancer is also a leading cause of death after transplant. Make sure your screenings are up-to-date for mammogram, Pap test and colonoscopy. These tests can help us treat issues early, before they become life-threatening.
7. Keep your bones healthy – Transplant patients are at risk for bone thinning or osteoporosis, which can lead to broken bones. Make sure you are getting enough vitamin D and calcium. Take part in weight bearing exercise. Get regular bone mineral density tests to watch for thinning bones.
8. Get vaccinated – Vaccines are an easy way to prevent infection. Get your flu shot every year and ask your doctor which other vaccines you need.
9. Get involved – Join a transplant support group and join the UW Organ Donation Volunteer Team. You will learn the facts about organ donation so you can share your time and experience to help others.
10. Promote organ donation - You received the new organ you needed, and now is a great time to give back. If you haven’t already, please send a note of thanks to your donor’s family. Sending a note of thanks to the staff that cared for your donor is also nice. You can also help other people receive their gift of life by promoting donation and the Wisconsin Donor Registry. See our Forward for Life folder for more ideas.
If you would like to know more about any of these topics, a transplant social worker, nutritionist, pharmacist or transplant coordinator can meet with you in the clinic or call you at any time during the transplant process.
The information provided should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
Last Updated: 11/28/2012
Copyright © 11/27/2012 University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#7457
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