UnityPoint Health - Des Moines

Transplant and Recovery

A transplant patient will stay in the hospital during surgery and recovery from five to seven days, depending on the individual needs of each patient. During this stay, transplant coordinators and transplant pharmacists will educate the patient and family about recovery, immunosuppressive medication and identification of rejection risks.

Discharge Planning

Discharge planning includes preparation for taking multiple medications, recognizing the signs of organ rejection, home monitoring of vital signs and follow-up doctor and lab appointments. Families are encouraged to participate in the learning process, as they will play a significant role in the patient's recovery.

Post-Transplant Clinical Management

At this point in the transplant process, the patient moves from a debilitating illness to a chronic, but manageable, illness. The medications and care required by a post-transplant patient necessitates frequent contact and testing with the transplant program. In the initial phases of post-transplant, the patient will make one visit per week to the Transplant Center for typically the first two months. As the patient stabilizes, visits become less frequent; however, patients can utilize the Transplant Center for ongoing support whenever it's needed.

Life After Transplant

Receiving a new organ is truly a gift of life. Once the transplant surgery is over, and the patient has made a strong recovery, he or she can enjoy independence and a new quality of life. Many patients say there is a big and positive change in their lives following a transplant - and families also enjoy a new sense of freedom and hope.