Finding out you need surgery can be frightening and overwhelming. Even when you know that you need the procedure, it’s natural to worry. Will everything go well during the operation? Will it be successful? What can you do afterward to heal quickly? Those questions are only the tip of the iceberg. And, when surgery is for a kidney transplant, you’re also left wondering whether your body will accept your new organ.
What happens after a kidney transplant?
Although the concept of surgery is scary, undergoing a kidney transplant when you have a chronic renal condition will significantly improve your quality of life. It removes dietary restrictions, reduces treatment costs, and improves your risk of surviving and having a relatively normal life. However, as with all surgeries, kidney transplants come with risks. Therefore, you’ll have to stay hospitalized for several days after a kidney transplant. This is done to allow your surgeon and nurses to monitor you closely in case of complications.
You’ll feel soreness around the site of the incision during this time. Once you’re released from the hospital, you’ll have to return several times a week for blood testing. You’ll be able to return to your normal life within eight weeks after surgery. However, you will need to take medications — known as immunosuppressants — for the rest of your life. This is because the immune system contains proteins called the Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA) — which regulate how your body reacts to foreign substances. It’s possible for your immune system to develop antibodies to fight off the HLA from the new kidney. Left untreated, it could result in organ failure. This is when infusion therapy can help.
Infusion Therapy After a Kidney Transplant
Infusion therapy after a kidney transplant involves taking a medication known as IVIG — which stands for intravenous immunoglobulin. It works by reducing HLA sensitivity, as well as blocking their ability to attack the new kidney. As opposed to other types of immunosuppressants, IVIg doesn’t suppress the entire immune system. This means that it prevents your body from rejecting the transplanted kidney, while at the same time allowing your body to continue to protect you from viruses and infections.
Are there side effects of infusion therapy after a kidney transplant?
As with any medications, IVIG has rare but possible side effects. These may include headaches, chills, increased heart rate, lower back pain, nausea, and muscle pain. It’s also possible to experience infection at the site where the IV is inserted, as well as the IV becoming dislodged from your arm. The best way to lower the risk of any of these scenarios occurring is to have an experienced healthcare provider closely monitoring your infusion — which is always the case at Infusion Associates.
What To Expect From Infusion Therapy After a Kidney Transplant
When you first arrive at one of our facilities, one of our nurses will explain to you the process of your infusion therapy. This includes information about the length of each treatment, dosage, and the likelihood of side effects. This is also a good time for you to ask any questions you may have, as well as address concerns.
We strive to make your experience as comfortable and welcoming as possible. You’ll find reclining chairs, blankets, televisions, and your choice of warm beverages, such as coffee, tea, or hot cocoa. If you’d prefer, you can also bring your own snacks and drinks.
If Your Doctor Has Recommended Infusion Therapy, Let Infusion Associates Help You
At Infusion Associates, we provide medically-prescribed infusion therapy for patients with chronic conditions in a welcoming and friendly environment. Our team of healthcare professionals is committed to making the experience as comfortable as possible. We always inform patients of any potential side effects and answer all their questions before starting treatment. In addition, we have a Registered Pharmacist on staff to make the process as seamless as possible.
If you would like to refer a patient to us or want to inquire about the treatments we offer, you can contact us by calling us at (616) 954-0600 or filling out this form.