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Dealing With Common Liver Donation Surgery Side Effects

Pain at the Incision Site
Most liver donors experience pain where their abdomen was cut to remove the liver. Your doctor will prescribe medications to help relieve this pain. Most of the time, it will go away after a few days or weeks.
When you're at home recovering, a few things you can do to help relieve pain include:
  • Taking your prescribed pain medications as directed
  • Using small doses of over-the-counter pain relievers.
Your healthcare providers will let you know which types of these pain relievers you can use, when it's safe to use them, and how much you should take. If you have any questions or want to take an over-the-counter drug that your healthcare providers haven't mentioned, be sure to call and check with them first.
Numbness at the Incision Site
Since the nerves near your skin are so small, it's impossible to have a surgery and not cut them. Because of this, some liver donors experience numbness where the surgical incision was made.
If you have any numbness after your surgery, it may take awhile for your body to adapt as the nerves grow back. As the nerves heal, some people notice tiny shooting pains along the incision. These sensations can last for 6 to 12 months after surgery.
Usually, any numbness or shooting pains will go away after a period of time. If they don't, you should talk with your healthcare provider to see if additional treatment is necessary.
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