After Liver Transplant Surgery

After surgery, you will be moved to an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) where you will be monitored closely. Here you will be attached to a heart monitor, many intravenous lines, and various tubes and drains.

You may have a breathing tube in your mouth that will be attached to a ventilator, in which case you will not be able to talk. As you begin to wake up from the anesthesia and are strong enough to breathe on your own, the tube will be removed.

While in the ICU, it is important that visitors be limited to your immediate family. Because you will be at a higher risk for catching colds and other illnesses, we ask family members who are ill to wait to visit until they have recovered completely.

Post-operative Transplant Unit

When your vital signs are stable, you will be moved from the ICU to a postoperative unit designed expressly for transplant patients. Here you will be continuously monitored and other disciplines such as physical therapy, rehabilitation, and nutrition will become part of your care.

While on the unit, you will begin to learn about the medications that you will be taking for the rest of your life. You will need to understand the purpose of these medications before you are discharged from the hospital.

Regular Patient Room

When you no longer need close monitoring, you will be moved from the postoperative unit to a regular hospital room. Once here you are encouraged to participate in daily living activities while being monitored by the health care team. Your immunosuppressive medications will be regulated to maximize their effectiveness and minimize the side effects.

There will be many things for you to learn prior to your discharge. You will receive a booklet describing specific restrictions and are expected to become familiar with its contents before you leave the hospital. The Transplant Team and nursing staff will review the material with you and answer any questions you might have.

Going Home

After the regular patient room, most patients are discharged and able to return home. However, some patients will need to spend the last days of hospitalization in our Cooperative Care facility where further instruction and education can take place.