Recovery

The recovery period for the transplant will vary from one patient to another. Generally, the hospital stay is expected to be from 5-7 days, sometimes longer.

The central IV catheter is removed on day 4 post-op, or after the last dose of the IV immunosuppression medication. The urinary catheter keeps the bladder empty, which gives a chance for the stitches to heal, therefore it may be left in for 4-5 days. If any drains were used at the wound site, they will be removed once the drainage has decreased. 

The surgical wound will be closed with staples. These will be removed gradually as per the surgeon's orders and based on individual cases. 

Immediately post-surgery, the recipient will be in 'reverse' isolation (patient is protected from environment) because of the immunocompromised state. During this time, visitors must be limited, and isolation precautions are followed by everyone who enters the room (must wear gloves, mask, and a gown). The recipient will be placed in a private room on the ward after discharge from the ICU. 

At all times after the transplant, excellent hand hygiene and infection prevention must be practiced. 

The recipient can expect to begin to eat and drink one day after the surgery, and are encouraged to get up and walk.