Resuming life after liver transplant
Quality of life: Most patients are able to lead a comfortable and healthy life after liver transplant. After transplant they return to work, and enjoy an excellent quality of life
Work /sports: A majority of people can return to their normal daily activities, 2-3 months after surgery. Children can resume schooling after 3 months. Playing sports and exercising frequently is possible after 3 months although it is advisable to avoid contact sports such as boxing, karate, rock climbing etc. for 6 months. It may take longer for patients who are very sick before the transplant. Initial family support is very crucial to lead an active and productive life in the long term.
Driving/travelling: One can resume driving in about 2 months after a transplant. It is recommended that patients should not drive themselves after taking pain medications as they may contain narcotics. If the seat belt rubs against the wound, one can place a towel between the abdomen and the seat belt. Most patients can undertake occasional train/plane travel in 2-3 months. If the patient is travelling to another city or country, he/she should discuss the trip with the transplant team to make sure that the patient carries enough supply of medications, and is put in touch with a doctor locally who can take care of urgent problems.
Sexual activity/pregnancy/breast-feeding: There are no restrictions on sexual activity and these may be resumed when one feels comfortable. Donors can resume sexual activity within a month, and recipients in 2-3 months. Women should not conceive for up to 6 months after donation and 12 months after transplantation. For recipients, use of oral contraceptives and hormones should be done in consultation with the hepatologist and gynaecologist. Recipients who are planning to conceive should discuss the same with the transplant team as some medicines may have damaging effects on the child or may be passed into breast milk causing problems in nursing babies. Some medicines might have to be stopped or changed before pregnancy.
Dental care: The patient should see the dentist every 6 months. The dentist should be told about the transplant because patients might have to take antibiotics before any dental procedure.