- Personal Hygiene: Personal hygiene is essential before and after operation. A daily shower or bath keeps your skin clean and prevents growth of bacteria. If you worry that the wound will get wet in bath or shower, we recommend you to clean your body with a wet towel and change clothes that are in close contact with the body every day during hospitalization with the help of your family or hospital healthcare assistants. When the wound heals and the staples are removed, you will be able to bathe or shower as usual. Remember to dry the gaps in an incision and keep the incision dry and clean. If the incision oozes fluid or if you suspect infection, please contact the doctors immediately.If you find your skin dry, you may use a mild bathing lotion and apply an appropriate amount after bath or shower.
- Quit smoking and drinking : Please do not smoke and drink. Smoking damages your lung and predisposes you to pneumonia. Alcohol harms the liver further. Please quit drinking.
- Avoid crowded public places: In the first 3 months after liver transplantation, you should avoid visiting crowded public places like cinemas, restaurants and department stores, etc. Avoid contact with animals and birds to prevent infection.
- Exercise and social activity: During your recuperation period or the first several weeks after hospital discharge, you will feel tired easily. Please do more deep breathing and take more rest. Sometimes you will find weakness in the muscles all over your body, and leg muscles in particular. This is a result of a lack of exercise after surgery and a side effect of steroid hormones. To strengthen the leg muscles, you are recommended to progressively increase the level of exercise. Walking, cycling and working out on exercise bikes are typical choices. Basically, you can do whatever you want to do, including sit-ups, abdominal exercises and swimming, which help to tighten abdominal muscles, and flatten your tummy. We encourage you to return to school or work as soon as possible, but in the first 3 months of recuperation, please seek advice from the doctors and consider your health condition before making a decision. If you plan on a trip to a foreign country, please first talk to the Transplant Team doctors.
- Dental care: After liver transplantation, you should beware of oral hygiene and keep your teeth healthy. Always brush your teeth and rinse your mouth after eating. If you receive dental care or dental treatment, please let the dentist know that you are a liver transplant patient and that you are on immunosuppressants.
- Pregnancy: For female patients, menstruation may temporarily stop after surgery, but there is still a chance to be pregnant. Contraceptive methods should be practised. You are advised to wait at least two year following transplantation before trying to conceive. If you decide to have children, please discuss your plan with the Transplant Team doctors. Although a number of women are able to have children after liver transplantation with minimal risk to the mother and baby, pregnant transplant recipients will need to be closely followed
- Avoid contacting patients with infectious diseases: If your friends or relatives suffer from infectious diseases such as influenza and pneumonia, or in particular communicable diseases such as chicken pox and hepatitis, please avoid physical contact with them. If they are members of the household, you should take general precautions, for example, use separate tableware, and cover your mouth when coughing, etc. However, it is still possible for you to be infected. If you are unfortunately infected, you should inform the Transplant Team doctors, who will give you advice and arrange necessary treatment. After liver transplantation, you may experience some degree of rejection to the new liver. With early treatment, it is possible to suppress rejection. Because the medications you are on predispose you to a higher risk of bacterial, viral and fungal infection, you should be familiar with the symptoms of rejection and signs of infection. If you find any of the problems below, please call the Liver Transplant Clinic or contact the Liver Transplant Team doctors as soon as possible.
- Signs of infection – Display of symptoms similar to those of influenza, which include fever (above 37.6oC or 100oF), chills, severe vomiting, shortness of breath, or diarrhea, etc.
- Signs of rejection – Yellowing of eye and skin, dark urine, fever, pain at liver area.
- Problems after using pangraf – Diarrhea for over 24 hours, nausea, or vomiting that stops you from taking medications.