What happens after a liver transplant?

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Following liver transplant surgery, patients are taken to the surgical intensive care unit (SICU). When they awaken, they are attached to special equipment, including a ventilator that helps them breathe, and several tubes and drains to remove fluid from the body.

Recovery after surgery varies from person to person based on the severity of their illness before surgery and the complexity of the surgery.

An average stay in the hospital after the surgery is six to ten days but may be longer depending on how ill the person was before surgery. Time spent in the hospital recovering includes physical therapy and education about self-care, medications, nutrition and exercise.
After liver transplantation, patients will initially be monitored in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). When ready, patients are transferred to regular rooms to complete their recuperation. Most patients are able to return home in a week to 12 days.

After returning home, patients will need to carefully adhere to their medication regimens, and to monitor vital signs including temperature, blood pressure, and weight on a daily basis. Patients will return to the Center for frequent follow-up visits, blood work, and other testing.

By three months after surgery, most patients have recovered fully and have returned to their normal activities.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.