After your liver transplant

From stitches to getting things moving for that first poo!

How many staples will I need and does it hurt having them taken out?

Not everyone will have staples. Some hospitals use dissolvable stitches which will disappear after over time. The number of staples you have will depend on the type and size of the incisions made and can be anywhere between twenty and fifty plus. They are usually removed after about 3 weeks (often over 2 days). Some staples may be uncomfortable when they are taken out, and others won’t, because some areas heal better than others.

Tips for that first poo!

Your bowels will probably be unsettled for a while after your transplant and you may not be able to eat solid food for the first few days. It can then take a few days before you pass your first stool, it can be normal to go seven days or so before this happens. As you can imagine, this can be very uncomfortable and you may be bloated and get some pain.

Tips from people who’ve had transplants:

  • Relax – take a book in!
  • Make sure there is no one else waiting for the toilet, so you can take your time
  • Don’t force it - be patient and don’t panic if you can’t go
  • If possible, walk around gently to get things moving
  • You may be given laxatives or an enema to help you go
  • If you do have laxatives or an enema, make sure you are close to a toilet, as when you need to go, you need to go!
  • Don’t feel embarrassed if you have an accident and don’t make it to the toilet in time – remember the hospital staff are used to this.

When can I have my first shower post-transplant?

You should ask your doctors/nurses, because it varies from person to person, but you will usually have your first shower once the drains (for excess abdominal fluid) are taken out. This may be between five and 15 days after the transplant. Initially you may be less mobile and in a lot of discomfort, but the nurses can help you wash. Some people are given wipes and a bowl of water to wash with if they can’t yet shower.

How soon can I go home after my liver transplant?

You'll usually be able to go home within two weeks although this can differ from person to person. Sometimes you can go home in less than a week, whilst others may need to stay in hospital well beyond two weeks.

Your Donor

Your donor

Contacting your donor’s family

Read More

Support After Your Transplant

Support after your transplant

How you might feel and support to expect

Read More

Food And Drink After Your Transplant

Food and drink after transplant

What foods are you allowed to eat? What foods should you avoid? Can you drink alcohol?

Read More

More from this section:

Transplant tips

Transplant Tips

Information to help you prepare for liver transplant by those who have been through it.

Read More
So you need a liver transplant

So You Need A Liver Transplant

Life on the waiting list and how to prepare for your transplant.

Read More
Clare Once you get home

Once You Get Home

Your questions answered about life after liver transplant.

Read More

Urgent Appeal

We are facing a serious funding crisis, yet people with PSC are relying on our services more than ever and we are continuing to provide support and information throughout this uncertain time. To help fund our vital services we need your support more than ever. Your contribution, however small, will go a long way. Thank you.

Want to know more?

Receive regular info, tips and news on all things PSC

Make a difference

Help us fund PSC research and support people with PSC

Friend or family?

12 things you you need to know about PSC