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Rejection and infection

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Post-surgery, you will require anti-rejection drugs to suppress your immune system so your body won’t reject your transplanted lung(s). Because your immune system will be suppressed, you will be more prone to infection, especially during the first three to six months after transplant.

Your transplant team will follow your progress closely for a minimum of three months. You will be required to have frequent blood tests to adjust medication levels and monitor for signs of rejection. Early symptoms of rejection include flu-like symptoms, fatigue, shortness of breath, cough, chest pain, and a fever over 100. It is not uncommon to experience rejection in the first few months. You should contact your transplant coordinator immediately if you experience any of these symptoms.

Also call your coordinator if you experience what could be symptoms of an infection: fever, chills, redness, swelling, bleeding or drainage from your incision site, an increase in pain around the incision site, or difficulty breathing.

Your doctors will monitor you closely in the first year. Your follow-up visits may include pulmonary function tests, chest x-rays, bronchoscopies, and biopsies of lung tissue to monitor for rejection and infection.

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