Exercise and Activity

Immediately after transplant you will be limited in the type of activity you will be allowed to do. Generally, you are not allowed to lift anything heavier than 5-10 pounds at least 6-8 weeks post-intestinal transplant. While you are still in the hospital, it is highly recommended that you get up and moving as soon as possible. 


Walking after surgery is not only beneficial to helping your new intestine start to function, but also can help prevent complications such as blood clots, loss of strength, and retaining fluid. If you are struggling with an exercise regiment, you can request a consult with a physical therapist, either while inpatient in the hospital, or as an outpatient once you are discharged.



Once you are home and focusing on an exercise routine, there are three main components to consider:

  • Aerobics: Works on getting the heart rate up and condition the lungs and respiratory system, helping to increase your stamina.


  • Flexibility: This helps to reduce stiffness and increase muscle stretching.


  • Strengthening: This helps you build muscle strength.

Working with a physical therapist to develop an appropriate exercise regimen can be very beneficial to your overall recovery and long-term success.



When it comes to sports and physical activities, it is recommended that intestinal and multivisceral transplant patients avoid high contact and vigorous sports, such as rugby, boxing, wrestling, and football, as they could potentially damage the newly transplanted organs. Patients can usually return to enjoying other sports and activities about one-year post-transplant or as recommended by their transplant team.