After Kidney Transplantation: Caring for a Healthy Organ

Within one to two months after receiving a new kidney, most patients recover fully, return to work, and resume a normal, active life. At first, you will see your doctor quite often for follow-up visits, and you will be monitored carefully to make sure your new kidney is functioning properly. You will continue to work closely with your transplant surgeon and nephrologist, your coordinator, and members of the social services team. Your local physician will remain a key member of the care-giving team, playing an active role in your recovery.

At follow-up visits, you will participate in a regular schedule of diagnostic and medical care, including physical examinations, complete blood, urine, and X-ray analysis, review of medications, dental care with antibiotic prophylaxis, and annual eye exams and, for women, gynecologic care. This follow-up care is carefully coordinated among your surgeon, nephrologist, and referring physician to ensure it is optimally effective and convenient for you.

While we encourage your primary physician to participate in your care and to continue to monitor your health after your transplant, we recommend that, for the first three months after your transplant, you receive primary care at our center. The transplant program must be notified of any change in your kidney function (increased creatinine level) or any medication changes. You should also continue to see any specialists who have been involved in your healthcare, such as your cardiologist, gynecologist, or, in case of younger patients, pediatrician.

Remember to inform the transplant office of any changes in contact information for your primary care doctor or specialists.