Transplant and Pulmonary Hypertension

After TransplantPills

Whether you are considering or have already received a transplant, you probably have questions about life after transplant including what to expect after surgery, what medications you will need to take, the emotional issues that come along with transplant and the possibility of rejection. Living post-transplant will require adjustments to your daily routine, but will hopefully improve your overall quality of life. The information below is meant to help you understand what to expect after transplant.


As a transplant patient, you will have a lot of pills to swallow. Some patients take 12 pills a day, some 40, depending on what their bodies need. Because your immune system may think of your new lung(s) as a foreign object, many of these pills are immunosuppressants meant to keep your immune system from fighting (rejecting) your new lungs. Other medications may be used to treat swelling and high blood pressure and reduce the amount of acid in your stomach. Learn more about medications

Transplant Rejection

A small percentage of transplant recipients experience complications post-transplant, the most common of which is rejection of the donated organ(s). Rejection is when your body's immune system views the new organ as an invader and tries to rid your body of the organ. You will be given medication to reduce the chances of rejection, but because rejection often has no initial symptoms, you will need regular lung biopsies to check the status of your new organ. Learn more about transplant rejection

Emotional Issues After Transplant

Receiving a new organ is a wonderful gift, but the process of receiving and recovering from a transplant is stressful and emotional. You should remember that everyone recovers from transplant at a different pace and it is normal to have good days and bad days. Your transplant team will be with you through your recovery and as you go on to live life with your new organ. Learn more about emotional issues after transplant

Long-Term Emotional Issues

Although transplant may lead to a better quality of life, it can bring its own emotional and physical problems. Some people find they have trouble adjusting to functioning independently of their caregiver. Alternatively, some people find that their friends, family and co-workers still treat them as if they are sick despite a full recovery. Physical ailments and financial pressures post-transplant can cause strain on individuals, families and marital relationships. Receiving new lungs or a new heart and lungs can radically improve life for a PH patient. However, it is important to recognize that there is a potential emotional impact of receiving a transplant. Learn more about long-term emotional issues after transplant

Returning Home: Life 1 Day to 6 Months After Transplant

As you prepare to leave the hospital, your transplant team will teach you how and when to take your medicines, how to care for your incision and cover the details of the recovery process. They will give you instructions for everyday life and schedule follow-up appointments. Your body will be a bit fragile as it recovers from the operation and you should take precautions when doing any physical activity. It is normal to experience good days and bad days while recovering, but try to focus your energy on caring for yourself and enjoying your new lungs! Learn more about returning home after transplant

Living as a Transplant Recipient

As you transition back into your normal life, you will need to take precautions to ensure long-term transplant success. Because you will be taking immunosuppressant drugs, it will be very important to avoid infections. You may need to make adjustments around your house and it will be very important to practice good first aid and hygiene. As always, you should make sure to get plenty of sleep, exercise regularly and focus on good nutrition and getting adequate relaxation time. Learn more about living as a transplant recipient

Join PHA's Transplant Email Group to discuss your questions about and experiences with transplant. For more information contact

Language Based on Treatment Fact Sheet Issued by PHA's Scientific Leadership Council

To review Conflict of Interest Disclosures for PHA's medical leadership, visit: Disclosures
Last reviewed in 2009

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The information provided on the PHA website is provided for general information only. It is not intended as legal, medical or other professional advice, and should not be relied upon as a substitute for consultations with qualified professionals who are familiar with your individual needs. PHA does not endorse or recommend any commercial products or services.

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