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Potential Causes of Stress (Following Liver Donation)

Clip Number: 12 of 22
Presentation: Liver Donation Surgery -- Recovery Expectations
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Reviewed By: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
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Because liver donation is a major surgery, this can be a time of emotional stress for you and your family.
Some people who donate part of their liver feel stress because of problems during their recovery, or the pain they feel after the surgery. In one research study, about half of all liver donors said they felt more pain after the surgery than they expected. On the other hand, 4 out of 10 said they felt less pain than expected.
Other liver donors feel stress because they take time off work to recover, and aren't earning the money they need. Some people are unhappy with the way their surgical scar makes them look. And sometimes, the person receiving the new liver has a lot of complications or passes away shortly after the surgery. This can lead to feelings of sadness and guilt.
Some liver donors get frustrated because they have difficulty sleeping after the surgery. Others feel that the recovery process is going too slow, and they have a hard time not getting around as well as they used to. Some people also feel frustrated because, for a time, they aren't able to participate in the activities they enjoy.
The point is, many things can cause stress to you, your family, and friends both before and after this surgery. If you are feeling a lot of stress during your recovery, be sure to talk to your healthcare provider. He or she can give you suggestions for dealing with stress.
This may include things like:
* Low-intensity exercises like walking or swimming
* Gentle stretching or yoga
* Meditation
* Massage
* Or speaking with a counselor.

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