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​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Back at Home

How can I take care of myself when I go home?
  • Eating a healthy diet by following Canada’s Food Guide will help give you a balance of protein, fats, and carbohydrates and help you to maintain a healthy body weight.
  • Avoid alcohol and smoking for 8-12 weeks after your surgery.
  • You might get tired easily. Listen to your body and don't do more than you can handle.
  • We recommend that patients take 6 to 8 weeks off work regardless of the surgical procedure.
  • Some patients, particularly those who are self-employed, return to work as early as 3 weeks after surgery, and should only perform light duty, such as deskwork.
  • ​Patients who work for a company and who are given time off usually take off 6-8 weeks. If your work does require heavy lifting or strenuous exercise, may be delayed for a total of 12 weeks. You may also return to work with modified duty.
  • Don't lift heavy things for 6 weeks after your operation. Anything over 5 kilograms or 10 lbs. is too heavy.
  • You can use small weights of 1 to 2 pounds to increase arm strength but be careful not to strain your shoulder joints.
  • Lifting larger amounts may result in stress to your incision and can affect your healing.
  • Walking is the best exercise. Try to increase the distance and speed you walk.
  • ​In winter, many people walk in malls to avoid icy surfaces and cold conditions or they use a treadmill if they have access to one.
  • Do not to take anti-inflammatory medication such as Advil® or Ibuprofen following a liver donation.
  • Tinzaparin must be injected daily to prevent blood clots. For your safety you must complete the full 6 week course of this treatment. You will be taught to do this while you are in hospital.
  • Percocet or Tylenol # 3 or extra strength Tylenol can be taken as prescribed for relief of incisional pain. If this does not control your pain, please contact the living donor office for further instructions. Please do not exceed recommended dosing. If pain persists please contact the living donor office.
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  • Discuss readiness for driving at your clinic appointment.
  • You must not drive while taking narcotic pain medication. You need to be sufficiently strong, and flexible enough to move your leg and foot on the pedals, and be able to check your blind spot.
  • Always wear your seatbelt when you are driving or riding in a vehicle. If the belt causes discomfort where it crosses your incision, place a towel under the belt.
  • If you’re driving long distances, stop every 30 minutes to stretch your legs and walk around to prevent blood clots.
  • We will not provide letters to excuse you from wearing your seatbelt.
  • We recommend that you do not travel outside the country for at least three months to avoid the potential issues of having a health problem outside the country that would result in a personal charge for health care.
  • Discuss readiness for air travel at your appointment. It is highly recommended that you do not fly for at least 6 weeks after your surgery due to risk of blood clots.
  • If you are coming from a far distance to have your surgery, speak to your coordinator about options for local accommodations and instructions around air travel.


What should I watch for after my surgery?

If you have any of the following symptoms please call your living liver donor coordinator or go to the nearest emergency room.​​

  • ​Fever (over 38C or 100F)
  • Increasing redness or swelling around the incision
  • Yellow skin or eyes (jaundice)
  • Shortness of breath
  • Uncontrolled pain

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Who do I call if I have any general post-operative questions or experience complications?

​​Call your living liver donor coordinator at 416 340 4800 ext. 6581​

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