A transplant is an important and positive pivotal moment in the life of a kidney patient. Prior to the transplant they have often experienced a prolonged period of impaired renal function and/or were on dialysis. Mental and physical fatigue and the inability to cope with any physical exertion are often-heard complaints during that time.
Until now, little attention has been paid to improving lifestyle after the kidney transplant. Patients often revert to their old eating patterns and physical inactivity and many of them gain a lot of weight after their transplant. Dorien Zelle and her colleagues from the departments of Nephrology and Epidemiology investigated the health of 540 patients who had had a kidney transplant between 2001 and 2003. They used questionnaires to chart how much the patients exercised. According to daily exercise guidelines, 260 patients (48%) did not get enough exercise, while 79 patients (15%) were completely inactive.
How long will I be in the hospital?
Patients typically spend from three to seven days in the hospital following kidney transplant surgery.
What risks are there for a kidney patient?
Death from surgery: less than 1 percent, same as any major surgery; surgical complications: infection, fever, bleeding, blood clots; kidney failing in first year (5-10 Percent ).
Preventing Rejection and Infection
Following your transplant surgery you will need to take immunosuppressive medications to help prevent and help treat rejection for life. These drugs decrease your body's resistance to your new kidney and/or pancreas, but may impair your ability to fight off infections. You will need to take medication to help prevent infections. You should also avoid contact with people with any infection that is contagious, especially during the first three to six months after your transplant.
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