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USC - University of Southern California Cardiothoracic Surgery at University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine
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Patient's Guide to Heart Transplant Surgery


Shortly after your transplant, you will be taking care of yourself and living a nearly normal life. In order to prepare you to care for yourself, it is important for you to know about all aspects of your medications. The nursing staff will give you your medications for the first few days after surgery. During this time, however, the nurses will teach you the names, dosages, schedules, side effects, and reasons for taking each drug. Please be sure to ask them any questions that come to mind about each drug.

Note: This web site provides selected information available about cardiothoracic surgery which may become out of date over time. It is important that consumers see a healthcare professional for detailed information about medical conditions and treatment. This information is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a healthcare professional, or a recommendation for any particular treatment plan. The USC Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery has made and will continue to make efforts to include accurate and up-to-date information on this web site.

As you become familiar with your drugs, we will begin to increase your independence by letting you take them on your own. We have medication sheets with dates, times, and dosages to help you adjust to your new routine. The members of the transplant team will be happy to help you and to answer your questions whenever you wish. Please remember the following points:

  • You will not be taking every single medication described in this section. You will only take those medications that are appropriate to your condition.
  • A general range is listed for the dosage of each drug. Your doctor will determine the exact dose of each drug that is right for you.
  • Your doctor will also tell you how often you should take each drug.
  • You will not experience every side effect listed for each drug. It is important, however, that you are aware of the possible side effects for each drug so that you can seek medical attention if side effects do occur and so that you understand any changes that occur in your body from taking the drugs.
  • If the side effects of a medication prescribed for you cause you concern, do not decide against using it without first checking with your doctor.



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