Graft rejection; Tissue/organ rejection
The goal of treatment is to make sure the transplanted organ or tissue functions properly, while at the same time suppressing the recipient's immune response. Suppressing the immune response can treat and prevent transplant rejection.
Many different drugs can be used to suppress the immune response. The dosage of the medication depends on the patient's status. The dose may be very high while the tissue is actually being rejected, and then reduced to a lower level to prevent it from happening again.
Some organs and tissues are more successfully transplanted than others. If rejection begins, immunosuppressive drugs may stop the rejection. Then, you must take immunosuppressive drugs for the rest of your life.
However, immunosuppressive treatment is not always successful.
- Infections (because the person's immune system is constantly suppressed)
- Loss of function of the transplanted organ/tissue
- Side effects of medications, which may be severe
Calling your health care provider
Call your health care provider if the transplanted organ or tissue does not seem to be working properly or if other symptoms occur. Also, call your health care provider if medication side effects develop.
Review Date: 04/16/2009
Reviewed By: David A. Kaufman, MD, Section Chief, Pulmonary, Critical Care & Sleep Medicine, Bridgeport Hospital-Yale New Haven Health System, and Assistant Clinical Professor, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.