You’ll probably stay in the hospital for about a week or so after surgery. Immediately after surgery, you’ll be taken to the Surgical Intensive Care Unit (SICU). After a day or so there, you’ll go to the Inpatient Transplant Unit where you’ll take medicines to prevent infections and rejection of your new organ. Your doctor will check for bleeding and other problems.
You’ll also be prepared for your return home. You’ll be given a schedule for follow-up visits and routine blood draws, and a 24-hour phone number for emergencies or other problems. You’ll learn how to deal with the medicines you’ll be taking and their side effects, recognize rejection symptoms, plan proper diets and generally take responsibility for your recovery at home. The transplant coordinator, social worker, and psychiatrist are all available when needed. The social worker will help arrange your discharge needs, such as rehabilitation or long-term placement, chemical dependency counseling, and transportation home. You’ll also be offered a referral to a community health nurse who can help you at home.