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Post-Procedure Care at Home
Upon discharge from the hospital, the donor will be able to perform activities of daily living independently.
- Most donors report that their major issues are their discomfort and low energy. Prior to discharge, a prescription for pain medication will be provided. Discomfort decreases gradually over time. Pain medication is usually required for 1 to 2 weeks after the donor has returned home. After that period of time, some donors find Tylenol helpful.
- As the incision heals donors may experience some tenderness, itching or numbness around the site. These feelings will also decrease over time.
- Expect your energy level to return to normal slowly over 6 to 8 weeks. Donors are encouraged to return to their normal level of function in increments, by increasing activity a little each day. Expect to feel tired after the surgery.
- Donors will not be able to lift objects that are more than 10 to 15 pounds.
- Light housekeeping, driving, sexual activity and mild exercise is fine. Listen to your body and take time to rest as needed throughout the day.
Donors are asked to follow-up at the transplant center three times after the donor nephrectomy.
The first follow-up appointment is scheduled prior to discharge. This is the initial post-operative visit with the surgeon. At this time, a physical assessment will be completed and the wound will be checked. In most circumstances, the donor and recipient have appointments at the same time. Donors are asked to make the remaining appointments prior to leaving the office.
Follow-up visits are scheduled at six months and one year after donation. During these visits donors will report to clinic for a blood pressure check and bloodwork.
If for any reason a donor has a question or concern, the transplant team will be more than happy to address the issue. However, any issues not relating to the donor nephrectomy should be directed to a primary care physician. Remember that it is important that you continue to maintain your health, your relationship with your primary care physician and routine yearly physical exams.