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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
Kidney transplant is surgery to replace a damaged kidney with a new kidney from a donor (another person). The kidneys are 2 bean-shaped organs found under the ribs on each side of the upper abdomen. The kidneys remove wastes and other unwanted chemicals from your body. The body disposes of these wastes in your urine.
- Antirejection medicine: This helps prevent your body from rejecting your new kidney. You may need to take this medicine for the rest of your life.
- Take your medicine as directed. Contact your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him or her if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.
Follow up with your nephrologist as directed:
You may need to have regular tests to check your kidney function. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
Bathing with stitches:
Follow your healthcare provider's instructions on when you can bathe. Gently wash the part of your body that has the stitches. Do not rub on the stitches to dry your skin. Pat the area gently with a towel. When the area is dry, put on a clean, new bandage as directed.
Blood sugar and blood pressure checks:
- If you have diabetes, you may need to check your blood sugar more often. Record the results and bring them to follow-up visits. Ask what your blood sugar levels should be.
- If you have high blood pressure, check your blood pressure and record the results. Ask how to check your blood pressure and how often to check it if you do not know. Bring the results to follow-up visits.
- Rest as needed: Slowly start to do more each day. Return to your daily activities as directed.
- Drink liquids as directed: Ask how much liquid to drink each day and which liquids are best for you.
- Eat a variety of healthy foods: Healthy foods include fruits, vegetables, whole-grain breads, low-fat dairy products, beans, lean meats, and fish. Ask if you need to be on a special or low-salt diet.
- Maintain a healthy weight: Ask how much you should weigh. Ask your healthcare provider to help you create a weight loss plan if you are overweight.
- Exercise: Ask about the best exercise plan for you. This may help increase your energy levels and help you feel better.
- Do not drink or smoke: Drinking alcohol or smoking can harm your new kidney. If you smoke, it is never too late to quit. Ask for information if you need help quitting.
Ask about vaccines:
Ask if you need vaccinations to decrease your risk of getting the flu or pneumonia. Antirejection medicine may decrease your ability to fight an infection.
Contact your nephrologist if:
- You feel you cannot cope with your condition.
- You have chills, a cough, or feel weak and achy.
- You have dizziness, nausea, or vomiting.
- Your skin is itchy, swollen, or has a rash.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
Seek care immediately or call 911 if:
- You have a fever.
- You have pain in your abdomen, side, or genital area that does not go away or gets worse.
- You have problems urinating or your urine looks red or dark brown.
- You have pus or a foul-smelling odor coming from your incision.
- Your symptoms become worse or come back.
- Blood soaks through your bandage.
- Your arm or leg feels warm, tender, and painful. It may look swollen and red.
- You suddenly feel lightheaded and short of breath.
- You have chest pain when you take a deep breath or cough. You may cough up blood.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.