During your hospitalization, you will meet your post-transplant nurse coordinator who will be your primary contact regarding transplant related issues or concerns. Close communication with your transplant coordinator is necessary in order to ensure the best outcome after transplantation. While you are recovering in the hospital, you will be visited each day by members of the transplant team who will monitor your physical condition and begin the process of teaching you how to live with your new organ. Individual members of the team, each focusing on their own areas of expertise, will work with you to be sure you understand how to maintain your medication regimen. You will learn how to comply with your health insurance company's requirements for obtaining medication and receive specific instructions regarding the type, frequency and side effects of each prescribed drug. Once you are discharged, it is imperative that you contact the transplant team prior to initiating any changes in your medication regimen, such as when a doctor other than your transplant physician wants to make changes to your medications. Another important component of your education will be learning the signs and symptoms of rejection, infection and/or other physical changes that should prompt a call to your transplant physician. It is important to remember that the immunosuppression medication that prevents rejection of your new organ also makes you susceptible to infection. You will be instructed on signs and symptoms of infection, but you must also be careful to avoid exposure to individuals with infectious diseases. This is particularly important soon after your transplant or if you are planning to travel out of the country. Contact your transplant team for specific advice.
Immediately following transplant, outpatient visits to the Transplantation Department will be frequent, determined in part by your medical status. These clinic visits do become less frequent over time. The standard of care for monitoring your organ function is frequent laboratory testing. Therefore, you can expect laboratory tests to be performed at every clinic visit. You will also be expected to have laboratory tests between scheduled visits to the clinic. These lab results will be sent to Lahey and reviewed by the transplant team. You will be notified if there is an abnormality requiring further investigation or if the amount of immunosuppression medication you are taking needs to be adjusted. Some care will be dictated by the type of transplant you receive. For example, if you are transplanted because of a tumor in your original liver, you will also have to undergo periodic radiology imaging to be sure that the tumor has not recurred. A customized plan of care will be developed and discussed with you before discharge from the hospital. You can feel confident knowing that your Lahey transplant team will be part of your health care team for life.
Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Awards Lahey Clinic the Silver1 Medal of Honor for Organ Donation.