Early Recovery After Transplant
The first few weeks after transplantation are critical. The patient is highly susceptible to infection since the body’s immune system is not yet functioning. Precautions must be taken to avoid exposure to infectious agents. Medicines, transfusions and other treatments are used to support the patient as the healthy, transplanted cells establish themselves and begin new growth, which is called engraftment. This early recovery may take place as an inpatient or outpatient, depending on the patient’s specific case and condition (see Inpatient & Outpatient Unit admissions for more information).
Engraftment of these new stem cells is expected within about 10 to 28 days. As signs of engraftment become evident, patients should need less intensive monitoring and medical care. As this time of intensive care tapers down, the patient will begin preparations for discharge. Depending on their specific case and recovery, some patients will need to stay in the Vanderbilt area for follow-up care for three months or more. (See Post-transplantation care and Housing in Nashville for more information).