Stay Healthy While You Wait
One of the most important things you can do while on the waiting list is to stay as physically and emotionally healthy as possible. If an organ becomes available and you are too sick, have an infection or are on antibiotics, you may not be able to receive the organ. Use these tips to stay healthy and be ready for your transplant.
- Stay active
Keep your muscles and body in shape within your physical limitations. Check with your primary care physician or cardiologist to make sure your exercise routine is right for your current physical condition.
- Eat a healthy diet
If you're on a protein restriction diet, you can get information from the transplant team or meet with a dietitian to help customize a diet that accommodates your tastes, habits and needs.
- Quit smoking
If you need help, ask the liver transplant coordinator.
- Lose weight if needed
This will help reduce the risk of complications during and after the transplant. Most important, dropping extra weight will protect your overall health.
- Get help if you're depressed
Depression is common among people waiting for transplant. Our trained staff can advise you about available options from support groups to antidepressant medications.
- Stay connected
Make every effort to stay in touch with friends and loved ones. Your support system is very important through every stage of the transplant process.
- Join a support group
This learning and sharing forum can be very valuable to you and your family. For more information on local support groups, contact the transplant social worker or liver transplant coordinator.
- Let people help you
Learn to say yes when people offer to help. It's OK to let family or friends pick up groceries, run errands or cook a meal or two.
Getting the call
Your liver transplant coordinator will call or page you when a liver is ready. After you receive the call, do not eat or drink anything. Go directly to The University of Kansas Hospital as soon as possible to prepare for surgery.
Go directly to Admitting on the first floor. If you arrive between 8:30 p.m. and 6 a.m., go to the Emergency Department. Explain that you are a liver transplant patient. Once admitted, you will have blood tests, a physical exam and any other necessary tests.
The donor's location affects how soon after admission you'll go to surgery. Once the donor organ arrives and the transplant team determines that it's satisfactory, you'll go to the operating room. Your family may stay with you until you go to the surgery suite. They can wait in the surgical ICU during your surgery, which can take four to eight hours.