Renal and Pancreas Discharge Instructions

A member of our transplant team will review your discharge instructions with you carefully before you leave the hospital.  If you have any questions or concerns at home, you can reach us any time:

Weekdays: call the transplant office at 802-847-4774 and our secretary will direct your call to the appropriate person.

Evenings, Nights & Weekends: call the transplant coordinator 802-847-0000. There is always a transplant coordinator on call who can take care of your concerns or direct them to the appropriate physician.

Kidney and Pancreas Transplant: Discharge Instructions

  1. Take only the medications listed on your Medications List. You may take Tylenol (acetaminophen) for discomfort or headache. Take no other medications, herbal supplements, or herbal teas for symptom management without first calling the transplant team.
  2. If you forget to take your immunosuppressant medicine, do not double the next dose. Call us if you forget more than one dose of medicine.
  3. Check your temperature twice each day, morning and evening. Call us if your temperature is higher than 100.5F or 38C.
  4. Visit us at the hospital clinic at Fletcher Allen's Medical Center Campus, East Pavilion, Level 5.  Stop at the outpatient laboratory in the east Pavilion, Level 2 to register. You should be there by 8 a.m. to have your labs drawn first. The visit with the doctor will be brief but may require a long waiting period before being called. Learn more about life after transplant surgery.
  5. If you are taking Prograf/FK or Sirolimus/Rapamune, do not take them on clinic days until your blood has been drawn. You may eat breakfast unless we tell you not to. Bring your immunosuppressant medication with you to all clinic visits. Levels are drawn in the morning. Prograf levels are reported that afternoon and Sirolimus levels are available in 48 hours. If we need to make changes in your dose, we will call you at home.
  6. Call the transplant team if you experience any pain over the transplanted organ, significant decrease in urine output, dark urine, nausea with vomiting, or have any questions or concerns. Learn about the signs of organ rejection.
  7. You should not continue to take Nephrovite. If you wish, you may switch to any over-the-counter multivitamin.
  8. Good oral hygiene is important while you are on immunosuppressive medications. Regular brushing and flossing, including brushing your tongue, help prevent infections. See your dentist regularly. When you go for cleaning or other dental procedures, you will need to take antibiotics to prevent bacteria from entering your blood and causing infection. 

If you have been on dialysis, you are familiar with this protocol (subacute bacterial prophylaxis). You can get a prescription for these antibiotics from us or from your primary care physician. The usual prescription is taken 1 hour before each dental visit.
  9. Anti-rejection medicine can cause cataracts in the eyes. You will need eye exams every 6 months to check your eye health.
  10. If your home has well water, the water should be tested on a regular basis for Giardia and cryptosporidium.
  11. Prednisone may cause increased appetite. It is important that you maintain a stable weight. Unless we prescribe a special diet at discharge, you have few dietary restrictions.
  12. Stay away from people who have an infection such as colds or the flu. Also, try to stay away from large groups of people in the first weeks after transplant (malls, for example). Hand washing is the best way to prevent infections.
  13. You may feel like resting more after surgery. Slowly start to do more each day. Rest when you feel it is needed. Talk to us before you start vigorous exercising. Walking is the best form of exercise. During the first 3 months after surgery, do not bend a lot, lift heavy objects or play contact sports like football. Learn about life after transplant surgery.
  14. DO use a seatbelt. If necessary place a folded towel or small pillow over your surgery area for comfort before closing the seatbelt.
  15. Avoid working in the soil for 3 months after transplant. After that, wear gloves.
  16. Avoid handling animal waste. Do not clean birdcages, fish, or turtle tanks. A cat litter box should be covered and taken outside the patient’s home before it is changed.
  17. You will not be able to get immunizations, including a flu shot, in the first 3 months after your transplant. In general, you and those in your household should receive inactivated influenza vaccine. Call us if you or any household member plans to receive any vaccinations. You should not be exposed to vaccines that consist of live viruses (oral polio, measles, mumps, German measles, chickenpox, yellow fever or smallpox).
  18. For parents of children who have had transplants: Ask the school nurse to notify you immediately of any communicable diseases that may be circulating in your school (for example, measles, chicken pox).