After a heart transplant
After the heart transplant surgery, the usual time in the ICU is one to three days and then four to 10 days on the transplant floor. The sicker and weaker you are going into to the surgery, the longer it will take to recover after the surgery, and some patients require a rehab facility afterwards for further strengthening. During this time, you will be closely monitored and educated as to the new medications and possible issues you may be facing after the transplant. You will receive a post heart transplant manual after your surgery.
After your discharge, you will be closely monitored by the entire transplant team, which includes the transplant cardiologist, advanced care practice nurses and coordinators. You will be given a specific schedule of visits, which will include blood work, chest X-rays, clinic exams and heart biopsies. The transplant team will send updates to your referring cardiologist and primary care physician. All of your medical care the first year will be under the transplant team.
After the first year, you will be returned to your primary care physician and you will see the transplant team less frequently. However, you will see the transplant team for your entire life with biannual checkups to monitor for any complications associated with life-long immunosuppression or rejection of the heart.