Published: Feb. 12, 2010
Updated: June 6, 2012
After transplant, you will have regular lab work and blood tests to ensure that your body is still healthy and is not rejecting your new lungs.
After you have completed your pulmonary rehabilitation following transplant, your local doctor may resume some of your care. The lung transplant team members are available to both you and your doctor 24 hours a day if our help is needed.
Please inform us if your doctor wants to start you on any new medications, so that we can update your records and monitor any potentially dangerous drug interactions. We will also continue to follow you at regular intervals in the Duke Lung Transplant Clinic.
While you are at home between lung transplant clinic visits, it is very important that you have blood work done at least once a month to monitor the levels of anti-rejection medication in your blood, as well as any toxic side effects these drugs may be having on your kidneys, liver, and bone marrow.
Your transplant coordinator will provide you with a standing lab order that can be taken to a hospital or blood lab that is close and convenient for you. Always remember that for the blood levels to be accurate, blood must be drawn in the morning just prior to your first dose of Prograf or Cyclosporine.
Your coordinator will let you know the results of your blood work as soon as those results are received in the lung transplant office.
Please remember that it is up to you to remember to have these labs checked at regular monthly intervals, and to make sure results are received in the lung transplant office. This is an important part of taking care of yourself after transplantation, and making sure your new lungs serve you well for as long as possible!
We recommend that each lung transplant patient wear an identifying tag on either a bracelet or necklace after transplant. The following information should be included:
You will be seen quite frequently in the Lung Transplant Clinic during the first two or three months after your discharge from the hospital. As time passes and your condition improves, we will see you less frequently.
Your visits to the Lung Transplant Clinic start in the morning. At each clinic visit, you will have blood drawn, a chest x-ray, arterial blood gas measurement, and pulmonary function tests before seeing your doctor and transplant coordinator.
A Cyclosporine or Prograf blood level will be drawn each time you come to clinic. Remember, do not take your Cyclosporine/Prograf until after the blood has been drawn.
In addition, please remember to bring:
You will normally be finished with your clinic visit by the end of the day; however, certain extra studies may be ordered from time to time. You will receive a schedule in the mail for each clinic visit.
After your lung transplant, please maintain a relationship with your primary care physician for general health maintenance and routine cancer screening tests.
You must be responsible for keeping up with your routine physical examinations and vaccines, as well as PAP smears, breast exams, mammograms, prostate exams, and colonoscopies. This is a very important part of your overall health care that must not be neglected.