After Lung Transplant Surgery

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Please call the Transplant Institute at 210-567-5777 for more information.

After Lung Transplant Surgery

Rely on your lung transplant care team at University Health for compassionate, patient-center care during and after your recovery.

Post-Transplant Surgery Care

Recover from your lung transplant surgery in the transplant intensive care unit (ICU). Your care team will monitor you closely. You’ll have a ventilator to help you breathe, tubes to drain fluid, and an intravenous (IV) line to provide hydration and medications. You’ll spend one to three days in the ICU. Then you’ll move to the transplant care unit.

Your Hospital Stay

Enjoy comfortable, private rooms on the transplant care unit at University Health. Rest and heal with the attentive, compassionate care of dedicated transplant staff. Your hospital care will include:

The average length of a hospital stay is 21 days after surgery.

Strength and Physical Rehabilitation

Work with a physical therapist to determine your strength recovery and ability to return home after surgery. If necessary, you may move to the rehabilitation unit at University Health for additional help.

Lung Rejection Prevention

Depend on your care team to monitor you for lung rejection symptoms. When your body detects something unfamiliar, your immune system tries to reject or get rid of it. To prevent rejection of your transplanted lungs, you’ll take anti-rejection (immunosuppressant) medications for the rest of your life.

Post-Transplantation Education

You’ll take more medications after your transplant than you did before. Count on your discharge coordinator to provide detailed information about your medications and daily home care before leaving the hospital.

Post-Transplant Medications

Keep your transplanted lung(s) healthy by taking all your medications exactly as prescribed. You will take medications to help:

  • Avoid infection
  • Boost essential nutrients
  • Control body fluids
  • Protect against lung rejection
  • Treat high blood pressure
  • Stop stomach ulcers

For a successful lung transplant, comply with your medication schedule. If you stop taking your medications, you’ll reject your transplanted lung(s).

Your Complete Guide to Transplant Care

You’ll receive an Organ Transplant Manual before you leave the hospital. Refer to the manual after you go home for complete transplant care information and instructions.

Follow-Up Transplant Care

Attend your lung transplant follow-up appointments in a transplant clinic weekly for the first three months after transplant. We’ll monitor you closely for rejection symptoms and/or infection. You’ll have tests and talk with your transplant pulmonologist at each appointment.

Your follow-up appointments will become less frequent as time goes on.

Self-Care Compliance

You’ll be responsible for self-care, including:

  • Attending pulmonary rehabilitation at University Health or another rehabilitation center under your doctor’s supervision
  • Avoiding smoking and limiting alcohol
  • Controlling your weight, as directed by your doctor
  • Following a healthy diet and nutrition plan
  • Monitoring your weight, blood pressure, pulse, temperature, lung function, and blood sugar
  • Taking medications daily as prescribed

Communicate with Your Care Team

Establish good communication with your transplant care team to prevent confusion and unintentional noncompliance. Call 210-358-4500 when you have questions about your self-care routine or need support.

Move Transplant Research Forward

Help us advance transplant care for patients by participating in research studies.

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High-Quality Care & Patient Outcomes
Review our transplant quality and recognition information that shows our program provides high-quality care. Our Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients (SRTR) data and reports show we meet or exceed the national expectations for patient survival. That means we have outstanding patient outcomes for lung transplant.