Once the operation is complete and you’ve begun your regimen of anti-rejection medication, there will be regular follow-ups with your kidney care team. In the first few weeks, you may be asked to come in for blood tests several times. After that, you’ll have more time between check-ins.
Maintaining function of your transplanted kidney
These follow-ups are important to ensure that the kidney is working correctly in your body and that you are taking the right amount of medication to support kidney function. Rejection of the transplanted kidney can occur with few noticeable signs or symptoms. This makes it all the more critical that you come in for your blood tests. Some of the more noticeable symptoms that may indicate rejection include pain, fever, and swelling. If any of these symptoms occur before your scheduled follow-up, contact your care team right away.
The chances of your body rejecting the kidney are highest right after transplant, and decrease as time goes on. Sometimes rejection can happen even when you’re taking your anti-rejection medicine correctly and following all post-operation instructions from your care team. Improvements in the immunosuppressant medication make rejection episodes less common these days, but it is nonetheless important to closely monitor your health in the weeks following transplant.
Will I be able to go back to work?
Recovery time varies between individuals. The timeframe for returning to work is also impacted by the kind of work you do. Your care team will work with you to determine the appropriate recovery period. Many people are able to return to work after eight or more weeks of recovery.
Diet after kidney transplant
After transplant, patients are often advised to eat a heart-healthy diet of low sodium and low fat foods. One of the benefits of kidney transplant is that you may have fewer restrictions than with dialysis. Your dietitian will help you formulate a plan that works for you and even recommend recipes that align with your health needs.
Giving your body the time and space to heal is imperative in making a full recovery. Listen to your body and don’t overdo it especially in the first few weeks. Your care team at Nephrology Associates of Greater Cincinnati is here to support you through this transition and answer any questions you may have about the recovery process.