10 Tips for Recovery After Lung Transplant for Cystic Fibrosis
If you have cystic fibrosis, one of the potential methods doctors may use to help you live longer is to remove your lungs and replace them with a pair donated from an individual without cystic fibrosis. The cells of the new lungs will not be mutated to produce extra mucus, so the transplant should help you breathe more easily.
Organ transplants are a serious form of surgery and will require a long recovery time, but a longer life span is more than worth the added trouble. If you are going to be the recipient of a lung transplant soon, below are some tips to help your recovery.
Transplantation along with its recovery phase is not an easy task. It is considered to be an option only for those individuals who suffer from a severe case of lung problems that have been caused by cystic fibrosis. Here are certain tips an individual should follow to make their recovery phase a smoother one:
- Be sure to listen to the doctor both prior to the surgery as well as after it. Take down NY notes and details on what precautions you need to take so that you do not miss out on anything once the transplantation is done. You can also make a list of questions or doubts that you have before the surgery to help you better prepare yourself as well as your family members more effectively.
- After a lung transplant, the doctor will start you on certain medications that should be taken without fail every day and at the same time ordered by the doctor. This is not something that can be missed or else it can prove to be fatal since this is the time when the body is trying to adjust to its new transplanted organ. There will be pain relieving medications that will be provided by the doctor to ease any pain. The immune system will be suppressed as well by other medications so that it allows the body to accept the new set of lungs.
- Once the transplant is completed, it is not always certain that the body will be ready to work with the new organ. At times, the body does not accept the new organ, leading to signs of rejection that the body is not comfortable with the new lungs. So, during the recovery phase, pay close attention to any symptoms that seem abnormal and let the doctor know of them at the earliest.
- Try to keep yourself free from any kind of infection by maintaining a healthy personal hygiene routine. Wash your hands frequently and shower on a daily basis. Any cuts or bruises should be taken care of with antibacterial ointment before they become aggravated.
- Drink plenty of water or some other healthy drink throughout the day, as the body will be in need of fluids to speed up the healing process. Do not just drink when you are thirsty; be sure to drink in between as well.
- Ask your doctor about any vitamin supplements, if needed, since this is the time when the body would need extra vitamins and minerals for the healing process. Vitamin C is known to be a beneficial supplement that helps wounds heal quickly.
- Protect yourself from coughs since a cough at this stage would be a violent act that can damage what has been done in the surgery. Try holding a soft object while coughing.
- Avoid smoking or breathing in any kind of pollutants that would make the lungs work extra; post-surgery is not the time to force your lungs to work harder. It would also slow down the healing process overall.
- Do not resume physical activity unless recommended by your doctor since the body needs time to get used to its new set of lungs.
- There may be a need to carry out certain tests more frequently to check the body’s progress. The doctor may order a chest X-ray, blood test, bronchoscopy, and lung functioning test.