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>> As a newly transplanted patient you are encouraged to stay or around the Ann Arbor area
for 3 months following your operation.
All transplant patients are discharged home with the services of a visiting nurse.
Your nurse will check on you regularly and make sure you're adjusting to your medications.
There are many appointments you'll have to keep in these first 3 months.
You and your caregivers will need to make many trips to the hospital.
Staying close will help minimize your travel time.
Your first checkup with your pulmonologist is approximately 1 to 2 weeks after discharge.
Your first checkup with your surgeon is approximately 4 weeks after discharge.
The purpose of this visit to check for any surgical issues, incision healing evaluation,
suture or staple removal, and drainage tube removal if this is still in place.
Removal depends on the amount of output from the drain.
You will have regular appointments
with your pulmonologist every 3 to 4 weeks in the beginning.
During those visits, you will undergo pulmonary function testing
or PFTs to see how your new lungs are performing.
Bronchoscopy with lung biopsy and cultures will be performed at approximately 3 weeks, 6 weeks,
3 months, 6 months, 12 months after transplant, and more often as needed.
You will have a chest x-ray or CT of the chest taken in anticipation
of these surveillance bronchoscopies and as required.
You will need your lab work performed and checked on a weekly basis.
More frequent blood tests can be done at your local lab.
Once you are medically stable and at least 6 to 9 months out from surgery,
your pulmonology appointments will be every 3 months and as needed.
It is important to give your body enough time to heal and adjust
to your new lungs and medications.
Therefore, in the weeks following your discharge
from the hospital there are many restrictions on your activity.
You will not be able to drive a vehicle of any kind, car, truck, tractor, riding lawn mower,
motorcycle, golf cart, jet ski, bicycle or scooter
until you are cleared to do so by the transplant team.
You will also need to avoid flying until you are cleared by the transplant team.
Your muscles and bones take longer to heal than your surgical incisions you can see.
Therefore, it is important to follow your lifting restrictions carefully.
You must not lift anything heavier than 10 pounds for 6 weeks after discharge.
After that, you must not lift anything heavier than 25 pounds for the next 6 weeks.
It is important that you exercise to regain strength and work your new lungs.
You can attend pulmonary rehabilitation classes, walk outside or on a treadmill
or ride a stationary bike but you cannot golf, swim, discharge firearms, bowl, play baseball,
basketball or engage in contact sports until you have been cleared to do so.
To protect yourself from infection, wear a mask for 3 months while out in crowds.
While these restrictions are temporary what follows are a list of restrictions
that you must follow for the rest of your life.
To protect your new lungs, you should avoid smoky places
and do not engage in any smoking activities.
As mentioned earlier, you can no longer get any live virus vaccines.
Avoid using tanning beds and always wear sun block when you go outside
to minimize your risk of developing skin cancer.
To avoid certain types of infections, do not keep any reptiles or birds as pets.
You may have a cat but avoid emptying the litter box.
Someone else will have to do it for you.
You must wear a mask at construction sites to avoid dust inhalation.
It is a good idea to keep extra masks with you so you can protect yourself
from changing environmental conditions.
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