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What can I expect after my child's kidney transplant?

Within the first few weeks after a kidney transplantation, you may notice that your child is feeling better and that his or her appetite has improved. If the new kidney is working well, a healthy, balanced diet with “no added salt” will be helpful. This means no salt added to cooking or at the table and avoiding very salty foods such as chips, pickles and canned soup.

With successful transplantation, your child’s diet will return to normal. Extra calories and/or protein are usually not needed. If your child is an infant, he or she will be placed on a regular formula.

It is not uncommon for children with a new kidney to gain a lot of weight, sometimes due to medications and also because of having a less restrictive diet and improved appetite. It is important to encourage your child to be physically active (check with your child’s doctor about any needed restrictions in activity) and to choose a healthy diet. If your child still needs dialysis after a transplant, he or she may need to return to her previous diet.

Because appropriate growth and weight gain need to continue to be monitored following a successful transplant, your renal dietitian will continue to play an important role in your child’s ongoing medical care.

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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.