After Liver Donation Surgery
Most people stay in the hospital for 4 to 8 days after liver donation surgery. However, it's possible that your stay may be longer or shorter, depending on how your surgery went and how well you are doing. Your healthcare providers will regularly update you and your family about your recovery.
As part of your recovery, you may have physical therapy to improve your strength and ability to get around. You may also have respiratory therapy; this therapy uses breathing exercises to help your lungs stay healthy.
Remember that your healthcare team wants you to get better, without any problems. During your recovery period, be sure to tell them about anything that doesn't feel normal or "right."
When it's time to leave the hospital following liver donor surgery, you'll need to have someone drive you home, so be sure to plan this in advance.
Your healthcare team will give you specific instructions for taking care of yourself at home. These instructions should cover things like driving restrictions, activity level, medications, and other things to watch out for until you are completely well.
Your doctor will prescribe medications to help you deal with any pain you may still be experiencing. Your healthcare team should also tell you about any symptoms that mean you need to come back to the hospital.
When you get home, you will need to rest and allow time for your body to recover. It's recommended that you take it easy for the next few weeks and wait a couple of months before returning to work.
In the months after your surgery, you will have a few follow-up appointments with your healthcare provider (see Follow-up Visit Schedule Following Liver Donation Surgery). He or she will talk with you about your progress during these appointments and let you know when it's okay for you to return to work or other activities.
(Click Liver Donation Surgery Recovery for more information on what to expect as you recover from this surgery.)