Factors that can speed up the recovery
Recovery from liver transplantation depends on many factors including the patient’s age, overall health, the severity of the liver disease, infections, secondary organ dysfunction or complications before or after the operation. Good understanding of the process, moral support, and encouragement from family, a positive attitude and strong will-power are important elements that can expedite the patients’ recovery.
Although donors regain consciousness almost immediately post-surgery, they might feel a bit drowsy for the next couple of hours owing to the effects of the anesthesia wearing off. The first night immediately after surgery is spent recuperating at the Surgical Intensive Care Unit where they are closely monitored and cared for by a staff of specialized nurses and doctors.
It’s quite normal for patients to experience a loss of appetite after surgery which is nothing to be alarmed about. It needs to be mentioned that over time, the patient’s appetite starts showing slow but gradual improvements. That said, it is equally important that the patient is put on a high protein diet which will help in the wound healing process as well in liver regeneration. If the need arises, our dietician will gauge your situation and food habits and suggest incorporating certain types of supplements in the diet. In case patients prefer a particular type of meal or cuisine, it’s crucial to run it past the dietician before consumption.
Once the donor has been discharged from the hospital, the recovery period at home begins. Patients are handed a discharge summary which has detailed instructions on how the recovery should be handled. In addition, the patient as well the family should educate themselves beforehand on the various protocols required after discharge. They should take time to understand the various tests such as blood tests.
Once the surgery is completed, it’s imperative that patients do everything they can in order to prevent an infection. An inhibited infection can hamper the healing process and inadvertently lead to some serious complications. Here are a few measures that one can adopt that will greatly improve the chances of recovering from the operation without an infection:
• For the first few weeks, there should be a limit on the number of visitors visiting the patient. Patients and their family should try and avoid meeting any individuals with any sort of lingering illness or common ailments such as flu, fever, cold, etc. as they might be contagious.
• Care should be taken to thoroughly clean the house with the help of disinfectants.