Congratulations on the one year anniversary of your transplant!
The first year after transplant can be difficult, and likely you had some
bumps along the way. Hopefully now you are starting to feel better and your
body has adjusted to the new transplant. Although this is a wonderful
milestone to celebrate, you need to continue to take good care of your new
organ and yourself as a whole. This list will help you remember the things
you can do to maintain good organ function and good health:
1) Take your medications – It is very important to continue to take your
medications as prescribed. This includes not only your anti-rejection
medications, but other medications you may take for things like high
blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, etc.
2) Get your blood drawn as scheduled –We can usually detect a problem
by your labs before you feel anything physically, which helps us treat
the problem faster and prevent long term damage.
3) Exercise – Heart disease is a leading cause of death in patients after
transplant. Exercise can prevent heart disease by helping you maintain
an ideal weight and by preventing high blood pressure and high
cholesterol. It also helps keep your bones strong, and can relieve
stress and improve your mood.
4) Eat healthy – Obesity has become a leading health concern in the U.S.
It can lead to diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer.
Making good food choices can help you stay at a healthy weight and
it is another way to prevent heart disease. Healthy diets have also
been shown to prevent certain types of cancers.
5) See your doctors – Even though you may be doing well, it is
important to see your transplant doctor at least once a year to address
your organ function and any potential complications. The information
we gather lets us know if you are on the right medications at the right
dosage. It is also a good idea to see your local primary care doctor
every year for a full physical exam.
6) Get routine cancer screenings – Cancer is also a leading cause of
death after transplant. Make sure you are up-to-date on things like
your mammogram, Pap test and colonoscopy. These tests can help us
treat issues early, before they become life-threatening.
7) Keep your bones healthy – Transplant patients are at risk for
experiencing thinning of their bones, or osteoporosis, which can lead
to broken bones. Make sure you are getting enough vitamin D and
calcium. Engage in weight bearing exercise. Get regular bone mineral
density tests to watch for thinning bones.
8) Get vaccinated – Vaccines are an easy way to prevent infection. Get
your influenza vaccine every year and ask your doctor which other
vaccines you need.
9) Get involved – Join a transplant support group, and/or consider
joining the UW Organ Donation Volunteer Team. You will learn the
facts about organ donation so you can share your time and experience
to help others.
10) Promote organ donation - Now is a great time to give back for the
gift that you received! If you haven’t already, please send a note of
thanks to your donor’s family and to the staff that cared for your
donor. You can also help other people receive their gift of life by
promoting donation and the Wisconsin Donor Registry. See our
Forward for Life folder or ask your transplant coordinator for more
If you would like more information about any of these topics, a transplant
social worker, nutritionist, pharmacist or transplant coordinator are available
to you in the clinic or by phone at any time during the transplant process.
Your health care team may have given you this information as part of your care. If so, please use it and call
if you have any questions. If this information was not given to you as part of your care, please check with
your doctor. This is not medical advice. This is not to be used for diagnosis or treatment of any medical
condition. Because each person’s health needs are different, you should talk with your doctor or others on
your health care team when using this information. If you have an emergency, please call 911. Copyright ©
1/2016. University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the
Department of Nursing. HF#7457.