Transplant after care

Hi, I was wondering of any kidney transplant recipients could give me an idea of how they were and what sort of assistance they needed in the weeks and months since coming out of hospital after initial transplantation.

My husband is hoping to have a transplant early next year, and our specialist hasn't really given me an idea of how much time I would need off work to care for him. I know everyone is different but I would need to provide my employer with a rough idea so we can plan ahead.

7 Replies

  • Every patient's experience is different. Some successful transplant patients can leave hospital after one week. In my case, I was in hospital for 8 weeks as my kidney was slow to begin to work. That was 13 years ago.

    Let's assume everything goes well and your husband leaves the hospital after one week, even two weeks at worse. He will only be leaving if he is fit and well. He will have to go back for tests 2-3 times a week for the first few weeks and then the tests will become less frequent and should revert to once every 3 months.If all goes well. You may only need to be off work for the first week he is home. With some couples, the other partner might go back to work when the transplant patient comes out of hospital. Every case is different and depends on how and if there are any complications. Work on the basis that all will go well.

    And good luck. Be positive! Think positive and it will help.

  • Hi

    I had my transplant two years ago. My wife donated, so our recoveries were complicated by the fact that we were both laid up at the same time. Fortunately, we had great help from the family -absolutely essential.

    As a transplantee, I was out after 6 days, but for the first week or so I was pretty weak. I had to go to hospital 3 times a week at first, but if there were any even slightly odd results then I would have to go for extra tests - twice I had to 5 times a week, and this was an hours journey each way from Gloucester to Bristol. Obviously, you can't drive for about 4-6 weeks, so are dependent on others, and sometimes the tests, and waiting for the results, can take a couple of hours. The tests are very necessary, but the travel etc is quite demanding.

    I think that you, or someone else, would need to be available for a couple of weeks, or at least call in, to see that all is OK. Get lots of meals in the freezer!

    By about 3 or 4 weeks the situation is improving -fewer hospital visits, feeling much better, getting strength back - and by 5 weeks I felt OK to drive. I think that getting plenty of gentle exercise really helps recovery - by 4 weeks we were walking a steady 4 miles each day. Quite tiring, but does help regain strength and energy.

    Can't quite answer your question directly for each case is different, and I think we were quite lucky.

    The ideal might be to have a couple of weeks off then some flexibility about attendance, if that is possible, and don't forget the transport.

    Good luck, for it is certainly worth it - I feel I've got my life back.


  • Hi. I had my Transplant Jan 2012. I was only in hospital for 4 days. but after discharge, Clinic appointments were every two days for the first two weeks then as they wanted.. for the first 8 weeks I could not drive... you need to check with the hospital about the time you can't drive for .. in this time clinic appointments can be from every two days up to weekly .. ... My staples on the wound.. takes time to heal.. so could be in a week or so.. so movement is hard and painful ... so you'll need time off for the clinic appointments more than anything else..

    hope this helps you... :-)

  • Hello,

    As a recent transplant patient (I had mine at end of October 2012), I would say that every case is different. I was in for a week, but initially on 3 times a week visits to clinic, which as we lived 40+ miles away was a bit of a bind for my partner as I wasn't fit to drive. I had the added complication of severe anaemia, which took at least 3 months to get sorted (EPO and iron injections). How far from the hospital do you live? If you are close, then hospital transport for your husband for clinic visits would free you up to work. As I said we live 40+ miles away and hospital transport would have been a nightmare. The clinic visits gradually reduce in frequency as one gets better. Three times a week to start, then twice, then once, and then once a fortnight. I've just finished my 6 months and now been transferred back to my local hospital's renal department for monthly checks. I do hope this helps, and I wish you and your husband all the best for the future.

  • Hi, had a transplant in 1989, went back to work 6 weeks later.

    My husband had to take 2 weeks off his work after I came home. Hope this helps. All the best to you both.

  • Hoping all goes well and then you should need no more than 2 weeks off but as stated transport to and from the clinic could be tricky if hospital transport is out of the question. Good luck it is worth it.

  • Thanks everyone for your responses. I'm going to take an initial 3 weeks off as holiday. I am lucky that my employer allows me to work from home and I should be able to take him to appointments. We are about 30 miles from Manchester royal infirmary. Just hoping we can sort some extra childcare for our baby as grandma is hopefully going to be the donor. Fingers crossed everything goes to plan with the work up

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