What can't you do after a transplant?



Each center has a different set of guidelines, some stricter than others.

Some of the universal ones are no grapefruit, no raw sushi, no swimming in lakes or rivers. Alcohol is usually discouraged, but some people still drink in moderation and socially when they're a little further out.

The cat thing is a personal preference. If you're going to change its litter, it's probably wise to mask up. But there are several post-Tx patients who have pets. One that is usually discouraged is birds.

Undercooked meat is probably a given, since that's really not safe for anyone to consume.

Tattoos are discouraged because of the risk of infection, but I know people who have gotten tattoos after transplant. However, some doctors forbid it so strictly that they may mark you as non-compliant if you do.

I know Colombia-Presbyterian supposedly restricts any fresh fruit for like the first 6 months. That's the only center I've heard that does that though.

So I'd check with your center to see what guidelines THEY have for post-Tx care.


New member
I was told no grapefruit, also a new one is pomegranate (in recent years) it interferes with medication (one of the transplant meds) absorption.

I was told you could have cats but it was specified that I not mess with the litter box.

I was also told to steer clear of birds and not to handle fish or fish food or anything like that. With fish I think they said it had to do with a type of bacteria that is common with fish or in their food or what not, so they didn't want me messing with it. Personally I had a cat when I had my transplant (we actually had 4 - my mom has them now cause I can't take care of them properly) and have gotten a dog since I had my transplant, so pets are doable with precautions.

For yardwork, my center recommends we avoid it if it is possible and if not that we wear a mask.

Tattoos also recommended against but not prohibited. Someone mentioned skydiving and personally I have gone skydiving since my transplant and did fine with it. My center/docs told me it was fine they were more concerned with the "what ifs" of my parachute not opening.

I was also told about the well cooked meat, but now the centers stance on that is that clean cuts of meat don't necessarily need to be cooked well done. The meats that need to be cooked well done are things like sausage, ground beef and so on. They said that the meats that need to be cooked well are meat products that could or do contain meat that comes directly from the intestines/bowels or stomach of an animal. The bacteria in those regions are what we need to cook off, with clean cuts like a filet or t-bone the risk of those bacteria are minimal, so it isn't as imperative that the meat be cooked well done. I too prefer my steak med rare if not rare so I violated this one on a regular until they changed the rules <img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif" border="0">.

They also recommend that you wash your fruits and veggies for a minimum time frame and I know my center cautions against eating raw fruits and veggies out at restaurants because you don't quite know how well they clean them, but they do not swear them off completely.

Steering clear of sick people, and just for my own anxiety I stay away from places like the mall after Thanksgiving until after Christmas unless it is absolutely necessary. My docs also recommend that if you are going to travel that you do it at a time when the region you are going to is not experiencing anything like flu season. For instance don't go to another country during their flu season. Also don't take cruises during flu season if you can avoid it.

I have never been told the thing about oral sex or vomiting. They both make sense I guess, but have never had that mentioned to me. You will pretty much know within a short amount of time if you have issues swallowing or if anything muscle wise was damaged during the surgery. As for vomiting, I know now if I get sick with nausea and vomiting it isn't so much aspiration that is a concern as my becoming dehydrated and also my inability to take and hold down my meds. I usually end up in the hospital for fluids and to receive my medication via IV.

I find that, at least at my center, they go to extremes and tell you the things they don't want you doing, BUT if you approach them and ask to do things (even things on the don't do list) they will work with you to figure out a way to allow it unless it is a definite no can do. There are certain over the counter meds you can not take as well, like aleve and such. I still call sometimes before taking anything over the counter just to make sure it is okay to take. I have also been told that I can not take anything with a decongestant either, so I can take Allegra but NOT Allegra-D stuff like that. Those specifics are questions for the doc though.

Good luck.


New member
i am on the double lung transplant list in seattle. i want to have a big party before i go for all the things you "cant" do. i know along with the cats, and litter boxes, no sushi too.


New member
i am on the double lung transplant list in seattle. i want to have a big party before i go for all the things you "cant" do. i know along with the cats, and litter boxes, no sushi too.
Congrats on being listed in Seattle. I received my lungs in April from UW. I love the tx team and all the docs, surgeons and nurses. I hope your wait is short. Best of luck.