Going Home After Transplant

Going home after your transplant is exciting, but it can be stressful. Before you go home, we will thoroughly go over what you need to do to take care of yourself and your new organs.

For the first six weeks after discharge, you will be seen at least once a week in the Outpatient Transplant Clinic (located on the sixth floor of the Emory Clinic Building B). You should continue to check your blood sugar at least twice a day at home. Record your blood sugar levels along with your daily weight, temperature, and blood pressure. Bring these records with you to your clinic visits.

Some kidney-pancreas transplant recipients still require insulin injections at the time of their discharge, usually due to the side effects of the large doses of prednisone after transplant. Usually, as your dosage of prednisone is decreased, or tapered, you will no longer need extra insulin.

Ureteral Stent Removal

Most patients who receive a new kidney will have a ureteral stent placed as part of their surgery. If you have a stent, you will be informed of this by the transplant team. The urine which is made in your new kidney flows to your bladder through the ureter. The ureter came with the donor kidney and was connected to your bladder with a small incision. A stent is a thin, hollow tube which is placed inside the ureter to keep it open and allow the connection to your bladder to heal.

The ureteral stent needs to stay in place for about six weeks after the transplant. By this time, healing will be complete and your stent can be removed. A urologist who works with the transplant team will remove the stent during a brief procedure called a cystoscopy. You will not be put to sleep, and no incision or surgery is needed. A flexible tube (the cystoscope) is inserted into your bladder, and the stent is removed through the cystoscopy tube. You may feel some brief discomfort or pressure. This procedure takes about 30 minutes.

When to Call the Transplant Team

You should call the transplant team if you experience any of these symptoms, or if anything about your health changes, even if it is not related to your transplant:

  • Temperature of 100°F or greater
  • Blood pressure greater than 170/100 for two readings in a row
  • Weight gain of more than three pounds in a day or five to seven pounds in a week
  • Cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, chills
  • Nausea, vomiting or stomach pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Decreased appetite
  • Blood in the urine or bowel movements
  • Painful urination
  • Increased pain, redness, or pus-like drainage at the incision
  • Pain, tenderness or swelling in the abdomen
  • Feeling unusually tired
  • Persistent headache or flu-like symptoms
  • Any unexplained rash, sores, or bruising
  • Swelling of the hands, feet or ankles
  • Inability to take medications for any reason