Process of post-operative care for the donor
Postoperatively a live donor is managed in the intensive care unit for the first 3 – 4 days. The donor may experience a little more pain on the first post-operative day. The donor is given a ‘patient controlled analgesia’ device through which the patient can self-medicate himself or herself with pain suppressant medication and stay comfortable. The donor is on bed rest for two post-operative days and is ambulated (allowed to be out of bed) from the third post-operative day. From the third day the donor is also allowed oral intake and is shifted to the ward from the ICU. By the 7th postoperative day the abdominal drain is usually removed and the donor is usually discharged on the 8th post-operative day if the recovery has been uneventful.
Liver Regenerate after donation:
The liver regenerates after the donor surgery. The liver will increase in weight to about 75-85% of the original weight in both the donor and the recipient by around the end of 3-4 weeks and it grows to 90-97% of the original weight by around the end of first year after surgery.
Donor resume to work after surgery
The donor can usually go back to work about 3 weeks after surgery and can resume all daily activities by that time, if the post-operative course has been uneventful.
Precautions a donor has to take in the postoperative period
The donor is advised to refrain from lifting weights more than 7 – 8 kg for a period of 3 months post surgery to decrease the chance of hernia formation at the wound site. The donor should be on healthy diet and ideally avoid junk food for a period of about a month post operative.