Quality of Life (QOL) after Intestinal Transplantation
Based on quality-of-life studies performed in different transplant programs, most intestinal transplant recipients have a good or normal quality of life after transplantation and in a growing number of patients the quality of life is reported to be better than when they were on PN. As survival and quality of life continue to improve with experience, as it has dramatically happened in the past 5 years, intestinal transplantation may soon be offered to a wider population of PN dependent patients as standard of care therapy.
Life After Transplant
Major advancements have been made in recent years in immunosuppression, surgical techniques and post-operative care. Now, favorable outcomes for intestine transplants are no longer the exception; they are the expectation.
This means that most patients are able to resume normal lives after their transplant surgery. They no longer will need to rely on total parenteral nutrition (TPN), but instead can enjoy eating again. Of course, patients will be followed for a lifetime by our medical team, and they will need to stay on a careful regimen of medications. Patients will learn about the signs and symptoms of rejection and infection, and they will become an active participant in their own care.
Most adult transplant patients are able to return to work. The time until return is quite variable. Generally, patients need to wait at least six to 12 months before being allowed to return to work. Your transplant team will help you decide the best timing. If you are unable to return to your previous job, your social worker can assist you with enrolling in Vocational Rehabilitation so that you will have the necessary job skills to re-enter the workforce.