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Organ Transplant

An organ transplant replaces a failing organ with a healthy organ. A doctor will remove an organ from another person and place it in your body. This may be done when your organ has stopped working or stopped working well because of disease or injury.

Organ transplants have been done in the United States since the 1950s. The procedure is always improving, and transplants are more successful today than ever before.

After a transplant, many people say they feel better than they have in years. What you can and can't do will depend on the type of transplant you had, other health problems you have, and how your body reacts to the new organ.

You will have to take daily antirejection medicines for the rest of your life to prevent your immune system from rejecting the new organ. You will need less of these medicines as time goes by.

Because these antirejection medicines weaken the immune system, you may have to stay away from large crowds for a while and stay away from people who have infections. Be sure you talk to your doctor before you take any nonprescription medicines. These medicines may cause problems with your antirejection medicines.

You will also have regular checkups and blood tests to see how well your new organ is working.

You may need to make some lifestyle changes to keep your new organ healthy and strong. This can include eating healthy foods, getting regular exercise, and getting enough sleep. Your doctor can help you plan any needed changes. Keeping in touch with your transplant coordinator and your local primary doctor, taking your medicines, going to your doctor appointments, and making lifestyle changes are all important.

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*Information from National Institutes of Health (NIH)