How will my lung transplant affect my daily life?

After returning home, you should try to resume "normal living." If you want to go to a movie or a social occasion and feel up to it, do it! If you'd like have friends visit you at home, that's okay, too! Try as much as possible to return to your normal routine.

However, the key is moderation and understanding your limits. Initially, you will probably have less energy than you did before surgery. It takes time for your body to heal and adjust to your new medications. Napping and pacing your activities is recommended to prevent placing a strain on your recovery.
  • Animals. No birds should be kept in your house, as their droppings may cause lung infection. Cats should be declawed, and you may not change their litter. Please consult your doctor if you have any other pets or exotic animals.
  • Exercise. Exercise will become an important part of your life, enabling a faster return to your routine activities and helping you maintain overall improved health. Exercise has been shown to improve muscle tone, as well as the functioning of your heart and lungs. It also helps reduce stress and achieve and maintain an ideal body weight.
When you return home, we recommend that you exercise daily. We suggest walking 15 to 20 minutes daily, and gradually increase time as tolerated.

Do not resume workouts with heavy weights until you have been cleared to do so by the transplant team.
  • Returning to School and Work. You should be able to return to school or work within three to six months. Your transplant team will help you decide what is best for you. You may wish to discuss career counseling with the transplant team's social worker.
  • Driving. You will not be able to drive for about four weeks after your lung transplant. The medications can cause tremors, weakness, and blurred vision, and these side effects, often worse in the first few months, make handling a car difficult. Therefore, we recommend that you abstain from driving until you have been cleared to do so by the transplant team.


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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.