Follow-up care is very important to the health and well being of a transplant patient. The chance of rejection is the highest during the first year after a solid organ transplant. Besides taking immunosuppressant medication, follow-up care is the next best defense to prevent rejection.
Before every clinic appointment, our patients are asked to get labs drawn. This will tell the physician a great deal about the health of the patient. Lab results will also identify any need for medical interventions early so no permanent damage may be done. Lab draws and clinic appointments are a lifelong commitment we require of all transplant patients. These activities are the only way we can detect rejection early.
Typically, we will see our patients after their hospital discharge:
- Twice a week for one month.
- Once a week for one month.
- Twice a month for three months.
- Monthly for three months.
- Every three months for a year.
- Every six months for the life of the graft organ.
If the patient is doing well early, we may not need to see the patient this often. Keep in mind, follow-up care, taking medications, and having blood work done as requested is a lifelong commitment we require of our patients. This is the only way we can recognize potential problems and be able to intervene quickly before damage is done.