We may have covered this briefly, but here’s a slightly more in-depth look. Of course, everyone heals differently, so this might vary. Especially for a guy like Derek who does not sit still well. I, on the other hand, sit still just fine!
For Derek, it is assumed he will spend roughly 10-21 days in the hospital after the surgery. One month after the surgery he should start to feel better, but still tired. And after 3 months the liver (if it is a portion and not a whole cadaver liver) will have regrown to 90 percent of it’s size. After one year, the liver will have regrown to full size. Pretty amazing, really.
For the donor, the recovery is similar but they often say that the donor has a slightly harder time with recovery, at least initially. This is mostly because the live donor goes from being a healthy person, to a person who has drastically reduced liver function. The recipient often feels pretty amazing after surgery since they had been living with a diseased liver and now, post transplant, have a healthy–albeit small–fully functioning liver. That being said, the donor will be in the hospital 6-10 days post surgery and then, much like the recipient, will start to feel closer to normal one month out, with the liver at 90 percent three months out.
The team keeps mentioning that after surgery both donor and recipient will feel more tired than they’ve ever felt before. They also said that patients say they feel like they’ve been hit by a truck. I’ve never been hit by a truck, but I imagine it’s pretty intense. I foresee lots of napping in our future. I once thought about going pro in napping, but never had the stamina or the wherewithal to devote myself full time to the sport. Now I’ll finally get the chance to see if I’ve got what it takes.