Taking care of yourself at home
Find out how to best look after yourself and your surgical wound following a heart transplant
- Taking care of yourself when you return home will help with your recovery
- Short walks and plenty of rest and sleep are important
- You will need to keep your surgical wound clean and dry
- Make sure you take all your medicines and let your transplant team know if you’re struggling with pain management or other problems
Returning home after a heart transplant
Once you have left hospital after your transplant, it is very important that you look after yourself and your transplanted heart. Your transplant team will give you information on:
- What to eat and drink
- How to live healthily (for example, exercise, weight loss, alcohol, contraception)
- When you can go back to work
- When you can start driving again
After the first 3-6 months, the risk of transplant rejection is lower, and your immunosuppressant medications will reduce. You should have more energy and be able to start doing more.
Medical terms explained
Immunosuppressants are powerful medicines that weaken your immune system to prevent it attacking your new organ.
This refers to any medicine you can buy without a prescription, for example in a pharmacy, supermarket or online. It includes paracetamol and ibuprofen.