There is a reason why the survival rate for transplant procedures at the Montefiore Einstein Center for Transplantation is more than 90 percent. The transplantation team understands that the process is not over when the procedure is completed-it has just begun.
The right kind of follow-up care is essential to make sure a patient fully recovers. After transplantation, the goal at Montefiore Medical Center is to provide comprehensive medical care to patients for the rest of their lives. Patients continue to see our multidisciplinary team of medical and surgical specialists, nurse coordinators, nutritionists and psychosocial professionals while continuing to work with their primary doctors at home.
After the procedure is completed, patients are visited each day by attending transplant doctors. Most patients stay in the hospital from five to 10 days after transplantation, depending on their condition.
Patients are examined to ensure that the transplant is working properly and that the organ is not rejected. Rejection, which occurs when the body's immune system attacks the new organ, may occur in a patient after transplantation. In this case, medication is all that is needed to get the patient back on the recovery track.
In addition, an extensive discharge education program and a multidisciplinary care plan ensure that precise medications and dosages are prescribed, follow-up visits are arranged and home conditions are suitable for the patient. For the most part, patients are walking without assistance and eating regular food when they go home.
After discharge, patients will return periodically to our convenient outpatient facility designed specifically for transplant care. Here, transplant recipients will be able to see all members of their transplant team, have their blood work performed and have access to a broad range of support services, including family medicine, social work and nutrition services. This patient-centric approach helps ensure that your post-transplant care is comprehensive and well coordinated.
All transplant recipients need medications to suppress the immune system and other medications to prevent infection. At discharge, most patients receive seven to eight medications, taken two or three times daily. Montefiore's physicians carefully regulate and adjust the quantity and dosage of medication. After six months to a year, our doctors may reduce or eliminate several medications. Many patients take only one or two medications at the end of the first year.
About half of our patients require readmission in the first year, usually to investigate fever or a change in lab test results. In this situation, physicians are on hand to examine patients and help them go back to their normal lives.
In some instances, a disease that was responsible for the transplantation, like hepatitis C or cancer, can recur after transplantation. Patients are fully-prepared for this possibility. During the transplantation process, the team will discuss the risks of recurrence, including options to treat the recurrence.