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Overview

Diverse complications are expected after surgery, but it is hard to predict the exact kind of complication and its route.
The Center is doing its best to minimize the risk and treat complications properly. Keep the following information in mind and consult the Center about any difficulty:

Infection

The recipient will take immunosuppressants after transplantation to prevent rejection reactions, which suppresses the immune system and makes the patient more susceptible to infection. The following is some of the most common types of infection.
Please contact the Center immediately when you suspect infection.

Viral Infection

Cytomegalovirus (CMV)

This is the most common viral infection among recipients. The risk of cytomegalovirus infection is the highest during the first one month. The symptoms include lethargy, fatigue, high fever, joint pain, headache, impaired vision, and pneumonia. To treat this infection, hospitalization is a must.

Herpes Simplex

While this virus usually causes skin infection such as blisters around the lips and genital ulcers, it may affect other parts such as the eyes or the lungs. Though most of the cases end with mild symptoms, it sometimes leads to a severe condition. Depending on the severity, remedies may vary, including ointment, oral drugs, and sometimes, IV injections. Its symptoms include lethargy and painful blisters around the lips and the genitalia.

Herpes Zoster

Usually, this virus makes rash and small and large blisters on the chest, back, and buttocks, which may be painful. Distinctively, it creates big and irregular flares and even a large ring of blisters only on one side of the spine. If you feel any discomfort in your skin, check the site by yourself using a mirror if necessary or ask someone to check for you. If it is not detected early on and develops severely, patients may suffer from its symptoms and itchiness for a long time.

Fungal Infection

Candida

This fungus may infect many different parts of the recipient’s body. While the oral cavity and the throat are commonly affected, sometimes the surgical wound, eyes, respiratory system, and the urinary track can be infected. In the former case, candida forms white patches and causes pain and difficulties in swallowing. Female patients may experience unusual white or yellow vaginal discharge.

Bacterial Infection

Wound Infection

Bacterial wound infection occurs at the surgery site and accompanies fever, flare of the wound, swelling, tenderness, and wound discharge. First, bacterial culture is conducted and if the infection is confirmed, antibiotics are prescribed.

Other Infection

Pneumocystis carini: this is similar to fungi and may usually live in the lungs. However, it can cause pneumonia (PCP) to immunologically suppressed people. In the early stage, the patient experiences mild dry cough and fever. So, if there is a cold-like symptom, please contact the Center immediately.

Rejection Reaction

The immune system detects foreign substances such as bacteria and virus and attacks them to protect the body from possible infection. Unfortunately, this system considers a graft a foreign substance and attacks it. This immune reaction is called a rejection reaction and to prevent it, the recipient must take immunosuppressants for life. However, even with the medication, 75% of recipients face this reaction at least once, mostly during the first two months. Rejection reactions can be relieved by changing the dose or the type of immunosuppressants. With early detection, most of the cases can be successfully treated.

Symptoms

If there is any of the following symptoms, please reach the Center for consultation:

  • Body temperature taken on the armpit constantly over 37.5
  • A sudden decrease in urine volume and a weight increase of 1kg per day or 2kg per week
  • A blood pressure higher than the casual one
  • Swelling in the graft site
  • Lethargy and unusual fatigue

For an early detection of rejection reactions, it is important to perform self-examination daily as instructed by the Center andregularly receive exams and tests at the Center as per care plans.

Anxiety and Depression

High-risk operations like organ transplants cause great stress for not only patients but also their family and friends. Patients tend to suffer anxiety and depression over surgery, hospitalization, and discharge. The most important thing is to express thoughts candidly and fully.

Diabetes

Some immunosuppressants result in diabetes where the blood sugar level is higher than the normal level. Diabetics experience frequent thirst, an increased amount of urine, impaired vision, and even confusion. If you have the symptoms, please consult the Center. The blood sugar level is manageable with weight control, dietary therapy, and exercise. In some cases, oral hypoglycemic agents or insulin is required. Patients with severe diabetes may be referred to specialists.

Hypertension

While aging raises the risk of hypertension and heart diseases, hypertension can also be caused by immunosuppressants. If necessary, patients take antihypertensive drugs.