Lung transplant recovery and follow-up care

Depend on Spectrum Health for compassionate, patient- and family-centered care after your lung transplant.

After receiving your lung transplant

Recovery at the hospital
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After lung transplant surgery, you’ll receive close monitoring and care in a specialized intensive critical care unit. Your care team will give you medications to help manage your pain and help your body accept your new lung(s).

As you recover and get stronger, you’ll move to a post-transplant care unit. While you rest and heal, your care team will watch for signs of lung rejection or infection.

Plan on staying in the hospital for three to four weeks.

Going home after your transplant
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Before you leave the hospital, your care team will go over your home care instructions. You’ll have some restrictions on your daily activities until your doctor says you can go back to regular activity.

Get the best health outcomes after surgery by following your treatment plan, including taking your medications.

If you live more than two hours away from our transplant center, plan to stay in Grand Rapids for up to three months after your transplant.

Your caregiver’s role
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You will need a caregiver—family or friend—with you during your transplant journey and for several weeks after coming home from the hospital. Your caregiver:

  • Drives you to your appointments
  • Encourages you and supports you
  • Helps you return to regular activities
  • Helps you keep track of your medications and appointments
Rejection and infection prevention
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Protect your new lungs by taking antirejection medicines prescribed by your doctor. These medicines help stop your immune system from attacking your new lungs. You’ll need to take these medicines for the rest of your life. You’ll also have regular tests to look for signs of rejection.

Shield yourself from infection

The medicines that prevent rejection also make it easier for you to get an infection. Your body will not be able to fight bacteria and viruses as well as it did before your transplant. If you get an infection, it may be more severe and last longer. Protect yourself by:

  • Getting your flu shot
  • Staying away from sick people
  • Washing your hands frequently
Lifelong follow-up care
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Maintain your health through long-term follow-up care and monitoring with your transplant team at Spectrum Health. You’ll have frequent appointments, lab tests and studies to ensure you do not have signs of rejection.

If you live outside of Grand Rapids, ask about options for post-transplant care in your community or through virtual care.

Lung transplant referrals


Contact our care navigator or make an appointment to discuss your health needs. 

Physician referral

Submit patient referral information through EpicCare Link, by calling our clinic directly, or through form submission. 

Get a Second Opinion

Feel certain you’re getting the best care with a second opinion at Spectrum Health.