What to Expect After a Liver Transplant – Post Operation Care

Dr. Lewis Teperman cares for patients at the New York University Langone Medical Center who require organ transplants. The vice chair of the center’s surgery department, Dr. Lewis Teperman helps prepare patients for the liver transplant procedure – and life afterward – in order to optimize the lifespan of the new organ and ensure future health.

Patients at the Langone Medical Center require close monitoring after liver transplant surgery, which requires them to spend a few days in a hospital’s intensive care unit (ICU). During their stay, they are attached to various monitoring and fluid delivery and drainage systems, including a heart monitor, intravenous lines (IVs), and a breathing tube if required. Removal of the breathing tube occurs after patients become strong enough to breathe on their own. Due to an increased susceptibility to illness, only immediate family may visit.

Once a patient’s vitals stabilize, they move to a postoperative unit specifically for transplant patients for furthering monitoring and education on life post-surgery. Patients receive physical therapy and instructions for rehabilitation and nutrition. In addition, they become familiar with the medications they will require for the rest of their lives.

After close monitoring is no longer required, patients move to a regular hospital room to complete their recovery and post-surgery education. Prior to discharge, patients must learn about restrictions and other essential points on caring for themselves after surgery. In order to become accustomed to normal life once they leave the hospital, patients also engage in daily living activities while under the supervision of a health care team. Patients return home after their stay in the normal hospital room.

Complete patient recovery can take up to three months. Patients often find they can carry on normal lives after making a full recovery.


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