A new normal post-heart transplant: What your doctors want you to know
A heart transplant is a major surgical procedure that involves the replacement of a damaged or diseased heart of a patient with a healthy heart taken from a suitable donor. The surgery is not a small one, so you have to be prepared for any changes and adjustments. One of the major concerns of the patients after a heart transplant is that when they will be able to get back to their normal life. Well, the answer is never. Your life will never be the same as before, but definitely better than what it used to be right before the transplant.
The period following the transplant is very crucial for your recovery and cardiac specialist in Indore suggest that it is what you do during this time, that significantly determines the success rate of the procedure. There are a plethora of things that are to be taken care of, and various Dos and Don'ts, that you cannot simply overlook.
So here are some important things that you should do after getting back home post heart transplant.
Regular monitoring - Whether it's a heart transplant to any other procedure, regular monitoring is very important to make sure that you are recovering well, without any complications. Undergoing the transplant does not magically cure you and there are certain risks that are to be taken into consideration. The best heart surgeon in Indore suggests that these include the risks of rejection and infection, both of which require immediate medical supervision. The doctors have to make sure that the transplanted heart is working well and this is done by checking your vitals, like blood pressure, pulse rate, and body weight.
Focus on eating healthy - The food we eat goes into the stomach but its nutritional value reaches each and every part of the body via the bloodstream. When you eat unhealthy, fried food, it is quite likely to elevate the risks of problems like cholesterol, obesity and coronary artery disease, all of which can drastically impact your recovery. When you prepare your meals, make sure you choose ingredients, knowing the nutritional value of each and also how it is going to benefit you. Lower the consumption of food rich in fats and cholesterol. Try to limit the intake of saturated fats.
Replace artificial flavours and natural spices and herbs - You may have certain restrictions on your diet immediately after the transplant but as time passes by it can be a little bit difficult to eat bland food on a daily basis. However, you do not have to necessarily do so. Although artificial flavouring agents are not good for you and your heart, you can always try natural herbs and spices that are easily available in the market. These not only add wonderful favours to your food but also have additional health benefits.
Eat foods loaded with calcium - We all know that calcium is good for our bones, but did you know that it is also superb for patients undergoing a heart transplant? Just like any other procedure, you are required to take certain medicines after the procedure, and some of these can cause your calcium levels to drop. As per the experts from the best hospital in Indore, this can make you more vulnerable to degenerative bone and joint diseases like osteoporosis. Make sure that you are meeting your daily calcium requirement by taking low-fat dairy products.
Do not step out without sunscreen - If you are wondering why wearing sunscreen is important after a heart transplant, this might help. After any kind of organ transplant, the patients have to take anti-rejection medicines to make sure that their bodies do not reject the donated organs. However, these medicines do have certain side effects as well. Excessive use of anti-rejection medicines can make you more vulnerable to certain types of cancers including skin cancer, making it very important to take care of your skin and go for regular assessments.
Cut down on your salt consumption and fluid intake - There is a common perception that drinking water is good for your heart, however, this does not always hold in the case of a heart transplant. The procedure can lead to fluid retention in your body, which may last for a few days. Drinking excess water will only add to the problem. Also, salt is not good for your heart health, so it is better to limit the use of the same while prepping your meals.
Keep a track of your blood sugar levels - After the transplant, you have to take prednisone medication, which can cause your blood sugar levels to spike up. As such it is extremely important to keep a close check on your blood sugar levels and follow all the guidelines recommended by your doctor to make sure that your blood sugar levels do not exceed a certain dangerous limit.
In case you are experiencing any unexplained signs or symptoms, it is important to consult a Doctor immediately for detailed evaluation and proper medical help.