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    Liver Transplant Complications

    Following your liver transplant, your doctors will be checking you and your liver with blood tests, ultrasound and other imaging studies. Possible complications that would need treatment include:

    Liver Transplant Rejection

    If your new liver’s enzymes rise and a liver biopsy confirms that rejection is present you will be treated with additional anti-rejection drugs.

    Infection Following Liver Transplant

    An organ transplant puts you at risk for infections because you are taking medications that block your body’s immune system. Your greatest risk for infection is the first 3 months after your transplant, when you receive the largest doses of immunosuppressive medications. For this reason:

    • Stay away from people who have infections. Tell your doctors if you are exposed to anyone with an infectious disease.

    • Wash your hands frequently.

    • Promptly report any signs and symptoms of infection.

    • Always tell your doctors if you get a cold sore, rash or small water blisters on your body.

    • Report any spots that may show up in the back of your throat or a white coating on your tongue. This may indicate a fungal infection, called candidiasis or thrush. Women can also get a vaginal fungal infection. Such infections require treatment.

    • During the high-risk period, stay away from soil, either in houseplants or in gardens. And do not swim in lakes or community swimming pools.

    • Eat well-cooked meat and remember to wash your hands after handling raw meat.

    Surgical Problems

    After surgery there may be complications. Bleeding can occur or blood vessels can become too narrow. Although further surgery may be necessary, many post-surgical problems can be solved using non-surgical methods.

    Primary Graft Non-Function

    Sometimes a new liver transplant may not work as it should. This is a critical situation. It means going back onto the transplant list and getting a new liver within days.

    Recurrence of Disease

    The disease that originally damaged your liver may come back in the new organ. The impact on your new liver varies, depending on the nature of the disease and other factors. Occasionally a second transplant is needed.

    Other Medical Complications

    Possible complications include high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol and thinning of the bones (osteoporosis). A transplant may put you at higher risk for some types of cancer. Close medical care can help prevent and treat these conditions.