If your family member or friend has a kidney transplant, the daily activities of dialysis are no longer part of the routine. But the transplant recipient will be recovering from this major surgery and will need to follow a careful medicine regimen to prevent rejection of the new kidney. You can learn about pre-transplant preparation and the surgery itself in the Late Stage Choices Section. As a Care Partner, you can provide the emotional and practical support that will ease recovery and help the recipient develop and maintain healthy habits to increase the odds that the new kidney will last a long time. Upon returning home from the hospital after transplant surgery, the recipient will need the kind of care typical of anyone post-surgery. They will feel weak and unsteady for a few days, and may need to nap. They will be instructed not to lift anything weighing more than five pounds for about eight weeks. While you should help out by doing the heavy lifting, you should also encourage them to follow the recovery routine suggested by the medical team, which may include walking, and increasing activity by a bit every day. Once the recipient is on the road to recovery, your support will still be of great benefit. Reminders about taking medications when necessary and supporting efforts to eat right and exercise help to ensure success. Following healthy living habits, and strictly adhering to the doctor’s recommendations can mean that the new kidney will last, on average, from 8 to 25 years. That’s a good long time to enjoy life together.
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