Advice to liver patients : First, you must have full belief in your transplant team. Then, families and patients should make every effort to keep mentally and physically fit in coordination with transplant team and follow their advice is the key of successful transplant.
The overall success rate of liver transplant is over 94% and the majority of recipients can return to normal activities and achieve 95% of their quality of life which they had prior to liver disease. Since the recipients’ body may reject the new liver, it is essential for them to take immunosuppressive medications and continue follow up at the liver transplant clinic. Recovery time ranges from 1 to 2 weeks. Proper care, follow-up and life-long medications are required for the new Liver to function properly
After successful liver transplantation (94% of patients) – the patient is advised to take care of infections and to take anti-rejection medicines for life. The patient can return to normal quality of life and can return back to work in three months’ time. The patient has to regularly follow up with the liver transplant team in the first year and later at regular intervals as advised by his doctor. He will require blood tests to determine that his liver functions and to adjust his medications in the beginning and later the tests are infrequent. The patient is advised not to take any herbal or alternative drug treatment.
The transplant patient is assessed regularly for various complications like rejection, infection, narrowing of blood vessels etc., and appropriate treatment is initiated. Post-transplantation, he is under the guidance of his doctor throughout his life.
Any health problems that do come up have to be investigated and treated, though they are infrequent in coordination with your transplant team
Guidelines For Patients Before Transplant
A patient should not only take care of oneself post-transplant, but it is very important to look after oneself before also. When a person comes to know that the only cure to his / her problem is a transplant, from that time onwards the patient should be following these few guidelines to keep his / her condition in control until the transplant is done and also for a speedy recovery.
Generally, a patient gets depressed and starts thinking what will happen to them. This is not the right way to think. A positive approach towards your illness is very important. Discipline is of utmost importance. Patient should immediately stop Alcohol (if consuming) and quit smoking (if having).
It is very important for a patient to follow a healthy and high protein diet. One should exercise every day. Medicines should be taken on time and no dose should be missed. Daily routine of work should be maintained. Doctor’s advice should be followed and regular check-ups are a must. It is very important to keep in touch with the doctor, as if there are any changes in the body or levels, which occur before the transplant, it will be controlled immediately.
Patient should not have more than 2gms of salt a day as it helps in controlling Ascites (water in abdomen). One should add lime to the diet, as it helps in detoxification of the liver and also gives a little more taste to the food, due to the salt restriction in the diet. A cup or two of coffee a day is good for liver. There are times, that a patient does not feel like eating. If this happens, juices and buttermilk ( tak / chaas ) should be given to maintain the energy levels in the body.
If the patient feels fullness of stomach, doctors should be consulted at once, to rule out whether it is due to gases or if water has increased in abdomen (Ascites). If the fullness of stomach is due to Ascites then it can be treated either with medicines or sometimes tapping is required, that is for doctors to decide. Tapping is a surgical process in which a needle is put in the lower part of the abdomen to take out the water from the stomach.
Some patients get swelling on their feet (which is called edema). If one notices, that the swelling is increasing, the doctor should be immediately consulted. If this occurs , the patient should keep the legs elevated while sitting and lying down. Walking is must, physiotherapy exercises should be done and sometimes doctors recommend stockings to get the swelling down.
Sometimes the yellowness in the body increases. The Patient should along with doctor’s advice control the diet. The patient should be given high fibre, simple and healthy home food. Spicy, oily and non-vegetarian food should be avoided.Outside food should be avoided and only fresh home food should be eaten. No medicines should be consumed without consulting the doctor.
Breathing exercise on a spirometer should be done on a daily basis (as recommended by the doctor). As it will help before and after the transplant. A patient should try and keep himself / herself physically fit and active as it will help in recovering faster after the transplant.
Guidelines For Patients After Transplant
The most important thing that has to be done after the transplant is to have the medicines regularly and on time, not only after the surgery but always, as there are medicines which the patient is supposed to have life long, to follow this discipline is very important.
- Eat good and high protein foods.
- With a protein rich diet, the patient is advised to have protein supplements for about 3 to 6 months at least. Egg white and Paneer are a very good source of protein.
- While cooking food the utensils should be properly washed.
- Patient should never be given last night’s left-over food, should always be given fresh food.
- Drinking water should be boiled.
- Fruits should be cut and consumed immediately by the Patient.
- Initially, raw food like salad, should not be given to the Patient.
- Outside food, fried food, bakery products, cheese, ghee, butter should be avoided.
- While going in public places thepatient should wear a mask for at leastsix months.
- Hygiene plays a very important role as the immunity is low, so the chances of catching an infection by the patient is very high.
- The patient should use a sanitizer to clean hands before meals, even the family member or a relative or friend who goes next to the patient should sanitize their hands and also wear a mask.
- Along witha good diet, physiotherapy is a must. The patient should walkand do all their exercises regularly to get back to a normal life.
- Spirometer is an instrument which is used to measure the air capacity of the lungs, it plays a very important role for lungs, it should be done as much as possible because it makes the lungs strong and helps in taking out water and sputum from the lungs.