Taking care of yourself and your transplanted kidney requires a lifetime commitment. At Beaumont, we want to help you with that commitment as you continue to live your life to the fullest. The transplant team will carefully monitor you for signs of rejection or infection and watch for side effects of medications. We will work with you to make healthy lifestyle choices to achieve an optimal transplant outcome.
AFTER YOUR TRANSPLANT RESOURCE GUIDE (PDF)
Our goal is to return you to the care of your nephrologist as quickly and safely as possible. Most of our patients are referred back to their primary-care nephrologist between three and six months post-transplant. You will continue to have follow-up appointments at our transplant center on an annual basis or more frequently if necessary.
The following are some questions and answers about your transplant procedure:
Will I be cured if I have a kidney transplant?
While a kidney transplant may allow you to have a better quality of life, free from dialysis, it is not a cure. It is an ongoing treatment that requires a lifetime commitment on your part. Your Beaumont team will educate and support you and your family so that you can accomplish this.
What experts make up a transplant team?
A transplant team involves specialized transplant doctors (nephrologists and surgeons), transplant nurse coordinators, financial representatives, social workers, dietitians, pharmacists… and you. As an active member of this team, you will need to:
- Talk to your Transplant Team regularly.
- Take your medicines as prescribed.
- Stick to your schedule of clinic visits and lab tests.
- Maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle.
What special care should I take after surgery?
Your body's natural response is to recognize your new kidney as an invader. Special antirejection medications (immunosuppressants) help convince your body to accept the kidney transplant as your own. Because immunosuppressant medications can interfere with your body's natural immune system, you will be more prone to infections. Some suggestions to preventing infection include:
- Wash your hands often, especially after using the bathroom and before eating.
- Avoid people who have colds, flu or other infections.
- Get the flu vaccine early, every year.
When can I get back to normal activities?
You will be monitored closely by the Transplant Team for at least 3 months after your kidney transplant. You may be able to resume driving approximately one month after surgery. Each person's recovery is different, most patients notice improvement in energy and endurance on a week-to-week basis. Exercise, such as walking or swimming, will help you to increase your strength. After three months, you should feel well enough to be able to return to your usual activities, such as work or school.
Whom can I contact at Beaumont when I have questions?
You may have many questions after your transplant. Your transplant nurse coordinator will be your main contact.
How do I contact the Beaumont transplant office to discuss a kidney transplant?
If you are interested in pursuing a kidney transplant, ask your nephrologist or dialysis unit to refer you to the Beaumont transplant program.