Recovery can be a lengthy process of healing after the transplant. During this time, the patient regains blood cell production and immune function, as well as strength and energy. The patient will be scheduled for frequent follow-up appointments and lab tests during the recovery process.
It is important that the patient drinks plenty of fluids and eats nutritious, well-balanced meals after the transplant.
Some patients feel depressed after a transplant. They may be dealing with an altered appearance, fatigue, anger, and concerns about complications or relapse. Some patients may find counseling helpful during this time. Our team will want to know how you’re doing overall. Please discuss anything that may concern you with a member of our team.
After discharge, patients and their families can call the transplant team with any questions or concerns, but especially if the patient is experiencing:
Fever or uncontrolled shaking
Catheter tenderness, redness, swelling, discharge, or difficulty flushing
Rash or yellow skin tone (jaundice)
More than two bouts of diarrhea in one day
Persistent headache, vision changes, muscle weakness, worsening fatigue, worsening hand tremors
Poor food or fluid intake, persistent nausea, and vomiting
Exposure to communicable diseases, such as chicken pox
For the Allogeneic Patient
The allogeneic (donor) patient who is returning home will take several medications to control for the possibility of graft-versus-host disease (GVHD), infection, and electrolyte imbalance.
GVHD sometimes occurs after a transplant. The donor’s immune cells in the transplanted marrow maintain an immune reaction against the patient’s tissues, attacking vanus organs such as skin, liver, and GI tract.
GVHD may be acute, occurring within the first 100 days of transplantation, or chronic, occurring after 100 days. It can be mild, or it can be life threatening for some patients. To treat GVHD, the patient takes high-dose corticosteroids and possibly other treatments to suppress the immune response without damaging the new marrow.