Who needs a transplant | Pre-transplant evaluation | Transplant operation | Post operative care | Living with a transplant
Living with a Liver Transplant
Going home after a transplant although a happy occasion,
may be accompanied by a significant level of anxiety for the first
few weeks. Despite the potential problems, the majority of transplant
patients return to a normal lifestyle and activity within three
They work, have a family, raise children, play a useful role in
the community and enjoy recreation.
Diet and Nutrition after Liver Transplant
You have been ill for a long time prior to your transplant
and have probably lost a lot of weight. Therefore eating properly
is an important part of your recovery process, and a healthy and
balanced diet will help get you back on your feet again.
Your diet should include:
- Whole-grain cereals and breads
- Low -fat milk and dairy products or other sources of calcium
- Lean meats, fish, poultry, or other sources of protein
- Weigh yourself every day
- Avoid sugary snacks such as cakes and biscuits between meals.
If you feel hungry, eat some fruit or vegetables (low in calories).
- Try to drink about 2 litres of fluid every day. This is good
for your kidney and help remove waste products from your body.
Bottled mineral water, herbal teas, pasteurised low-fat milk,
and fruit juices are good.
- Always wash and peel fresh fruit
- Vegetables that grown in soil, eg potatoes, should always
be peeled and cooked in boiling water. Cooking vegetables in
a pressure cooker is a good way of saving the vitamin content.
Do not eat raw vegetables, eg lettuce.
- Do not eat cheese made from unpasteurised milk and avoid cheeses
- Only buy small amounts of dairy products at one time so that
you can eat them while they are still fresh
While on steroids, try to restrict your salt intake by:
- Using salt sparingly when cooking
- Trying not to add salt to cooked food or salad
- Avoiding salty foods, eg potato crisps, pickles and tinned
It is important to have daily exercise routine to
build up your muscles weakened by a long of illness. You should
slowly increase your levels of exercise. Cycling swimming, and walking
are very useful for increasing your stamina and overall muscle tone,
and all going well, you can also resume other sports three months
after the operation.
Before starting on any exercise programme, remember
to check with your transplant team.
It is not advisable to drive a car during the first
four weeks following transplantation.
Alcoholic beverages are not recommended. Alcohol is
broken down by the liver and can cause live damage.
Stop smoking! Smoking is harmful to everyone's health.
You may resume sexual activity as soon as you feel
well enough. The majority of men regain their potency and most women
find that their menstrual cycle returns to normal a few months after
Many men have successfully fathered children after
transplantation, and a large number of women have given birth to
healthy children. Women should discuss their wish to start a family
with their doctor or a member of the transplant team.
Normally, you should wait at least a year before becoming
pregnant. Furthermore you should have good kidney function, be free
of any illnesses which could endanger your or your baby's health,
and be receiving low dose immunosuppressive therapy.
There is no reason why you should not enjoy traveling
provided you use common sense. You should always take enough medication
with you for the whole trip. Always leave an address where you can
It is not normally recommended to have household pets
because of the increased risk of infection.