The immune system is your body’s natural defence mechanism. It will start a defence response against anything foreign, including bacteria and organisms that cause infection. It will also recognise the cells of the transplanted liver as foreign and will try to fight them. Therefore after your liver transplant, you will be prescribed specific drugs which stop the immune system from rejecting the new liver. These drugs are known as immunosuppressants and you will need to take them daily for the rest of your life. The daily dosage is carefully calculated by your transplant physician, and you can’t change it without consultation, otherwise your body can reject your new liver.
It is important to note that these immunosuppressant drugs will increase your vulnerability to infections, especially in the first few months after the transplant when the need for these drugs is at its highest. Your risk decreases slowly as the drug doses are reduced in the months after, but you need to be mindful at all times and avoid contact with individuals with infection, and avoid eating any raw foods. If you experience any signs of infection, you need to be treated immediately.