Cirrhosis and liver transplant

  • In India incidence of liver disease is increasing. In India and other south east Asian countries, Hepatitis B, C, Alcoholic liver disease and NASH are common causes of liver cirrhosis. Incidence of NASH related cirrhosis is increasing because of dietary pattern and sedentary life style. Over the last two decades global burden of NASH has almost doubled.
  • Most common indications for liver transplant is chronic liver disease or cirrhosis. Liver transplant is not advised to all cirrhosis patients. Transplant is advised only when they have complications related with cirrhosis which can’t be managed medically or their liver function is deteriorating.
  • Cirrhosis patients can have various types of complications. They may have jaundice, fluid formation in abdomen. They can have limb swelling. Liver can also involve other organs like kidney. One of the important functions of liver is to filter toxic materials which are absorbed from intestine like ammonia. When liver is not working properly, unfiltered ammonia can go to the main circulation and may reach brain. In that case patient can have confusion like state. All these complications are initially managed medically. If they are not responding to medical management, patients are advised for liver transplant.
  • In India cost of liver transplant varies from 18 lakhs to 25 lakhs in corporate hospitals.
  • Success rate of liver transplant depends upon pre transplant condition of patient. Results are always better when patient is taken for liver transplant surgery after proper optimization. One year survival rate after liver transplant is around 90%.
  • After liver transplant, patient has to take immunosuppressants life lone. As their immunity will be weaker as compared to general populations, they have to be careful. They have to avoid exposure of infection, maintain healthy life style, eat hygienic and healthy food and have to be in follow up with their transplant surgeon and physician.
  • Liver is an important organ in our body. We have to care of liver like other vital organs. We should avoid fatty meals, alcohol and other medications which may harm our liver. Liver function and liver ultrasound must be included in annual health check up. Deranged liver function must be taken seriously. If we are able to diagnose liver problem in early stage, most of the times it can be managed medically. Delayed diagnosis of liver problems can be life threatening or patient may need liver transplant.
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