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After Liver Donation Surgery

After liver donation surgery, you will stay at the hospital for about a week while your recovery is monitored. Aches and pains are common, and medications will be given to help you with this. In the months following your liver donation surgery, you will have follow-up appointments with your doctor, at which time your progress will continue to be monitored.

Immediately After Liver Donation Surgery

After liver donation surgery, you will be taken either to a recovery room and then a regular hospital room, or you will go to the intensive care unit (ICU).
 
As you wake up from the surgery, you will feel some aches and pains in your abdomen and throat. Sometimes during recovery, patients shiver or feel sick to their stomach. Both of these symptoms may be caused by the anesthesia. Your healthcare providers can give you medication to make you more comfortable.
 
During this time, your doctor will talk about your surgery with your family or friends. They will be able to visit you in your room at scheduled times and should expect to see you attached to monitors and special equipment, like tubes and IV (intravenous) lines.
 
For example, you may still have a breathing tube in place after the surgery. Some people find it a little strange to breathe with the tube at first, but it usually feels more normal after doing it for a little while. The breathing tube will be taken out once the anesthesia has worn off and your healthcare team feels you are awake enough to breathe on your own.
 
You may also need to have a drain tube placed in your abdomen to remove any bile or fluid that may still be leaking. Other tubes and lines, such as catheters and IVs, may also stay in place for a day or more after the surgery.
 
Since this is a major operation, you will likely experience some pain after your surgery. You will be given medications to help control the pain and can always ask for more medicine if you need it. Please know that your healthcare team will do everything possible to help keep you comfortable during your recovery.
 
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