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Posted on Apr 19, 2022

How long does it take to recover from a kidney transplant?

Hospital recovery for a kidney transplant is usually 5 to 10 days. The length of stay depends on the medical condition and needs. Recipients have to remain in intensive care unit for 24 to 48 hr and are then transferred to the transplant unit. Generally, recipients start to walk after the 3rd day of surgery and are discharged around 10 to 14 day after surgery. The patient can join work after the 3rd-month post surgery. Donors have to remain in the hospital for 3 to 4 days, and then the patient would be discharged and followed up in the transplant OPD at frequent intervals. The recipient needs to continue to follow up the doctor for medical advice. Ideally, the patient should visit every week for 2 months, then every fortnight for next 2 month, then every month for the next 1 year, post-transplant surgery.

There is increased risk of infection after kidney transplant because of immunosuppressive medication. Patients should avoid infection by a simple measure such as:

  • Wash hands regularly
  • Maintain good hygiene habits
  • Avoid close contact with people who have contagious illnesses
  • Avoid close contact with children recently vaccinated with live vaccines
  • Practice safe food handling
  • Inform doctor well in advance of any travel plans

The patient should report any of the following problems to treating the doctor as soon as possible:

  • Sores, wounds, or injuries; especially those that don’t heal
  • Urinary tracts infection symptoms such as frequent urge to urinate, pain or burning feeling when urinating, cloudy or reddish urine, or bad smelling urine
  • Respiratory infection symptoms such as a cough, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore or scratchy throat, or fever

There is an increased risk of diabetics after transplant because of medications. Even if patients did not have diabetes before, he may develop diabetes after transplant. This type of diabetes is called new-onset diabetes after transplant or NODAT. This can occur as a side effect of the medications that may need to prevent rejection of new kidney.

Most sexual functions return after a successful transplant if the problem was due to kidney disease or dialysis. Patient should talk to their transplant team about any problems with sexual function, or if patient has questions about safe sex, contraception or pregnancy

The transplant team will help patients to make the right choices to develop and live a healthy lifestyle. Patient should:

  • Return to your normal routines, such as work, school or housework
  • Increase physical activity with regular exercise
  • Eat a proper diet. A dietitian can help to make the right healthy food choices for a healthy lifestyle.
  • Lose weight, as needed, to reach and maintain a healthy weight. He should consult with dietitian and transplant team for a healthy weight loss diet. Fad diets should be avoided. Once patient get to your healthy weight you will feel better