As your hospital will of explained there are a number of risks and complications that can occur during Transplant. It's advisable to be aware of some of the changes that can occur after or pre transplant. Obviously there is no guarantee that you may suffer from any of the complications or may be unfortunate to have a few.
The immunosuppressant medicines that help prevent rejection will also make you more likely to develop certain infections. The first three months after the transplant are when you will be particularly at risk because you are taking your immunosuppressant medicines in high doses. However, there is a continuing risk of infection for all transplant patients.
Recurrent infection can lead to permanent damage to your transplanted organ. It is important to know and report the warning signs so that treatment can be started early.
Infections are usually caused by one or more of the following:
Warning signs of infection may include:
- raised temperature
- flu like symptoms, chills, aches, tiredness, headaches, dizziness
- cough or shortness of breath
- nausea (feeling sick) and vomiting (being sick)
- pain or a burning feeling on passing urine
- wounds or sores that will not heal and may be warm to touch
The kidneys filter blood, remove waste products and regulate the fluid balance in your body. Your kidney function will be monitored my measuring levels of certain chemicals in your blood and urine. In some patients who have had a transplant their kidneys will fail to work properly on their own. In this situation the work of the kidneys may have to be taken over by temporary dialysis machine. For many patients this is a short-term measure while the kidneys recover. Occasionally, however, the kidneys do not recover and then dialysis will have to be a long-term treatment and a kidney transplant may be considered.
Kidney problems are often seen after transplantation and may be due to one of the following.
- the kidneys are very sensitive to changes in your circulation
- the kidneys are also sensitive to some of the medicines you are given, especially cyclosporin and tacrolimus
Your transplant team monitor how the kidneys are working during and after the operation measuring the amount of urine you are passing and the chemicals in your blood. By doing this the risk of permanent damage to the kidneys is minimised.
Following transplantation many patients develop high blood pressure (also known as hypertension). This is thought to be partly related to the immunosuppressant medicines. High blood pressure does not always cause symptoms and most people are unaware that they have it. Unfortunately, if it is left untreated for a long time it may lead to an increased risk of stroke, heart or kidney problems.
Your blood pressure will be monitored regularly. For many patients it will be necessary to start regular treatment to reduce blood pressure.
Diabetes can occur following transplantation