Awareness About Liver Transplant
A liver transplant is a surgical procedure which is performed in patients with liver failure to replace their diseased liver with a healthy liver.
Liver transplant is a treatment option for patients with liver failure whose condition can’t be managed medically and for some patients with liver cancer. Liver failure may happen quickly or over a longer period of time. Liver failure that occurs quickly, in a matter of days or weeks, is called acute liver failure (fulminant hepatic failure) and is usually the result of viral infection or some medication-induced liver injury.
Liver Transplant Procedure
In this procedure, patient’s entire liver is removed. It is then replaced by a portion of the donor’s healthy liver in case of live donor liver transplantation or complete liver in case of deceased donor liver transplantation. A living donor is often the only option for those who have become too sick to wait for a deceased donor transplant.
Liver transplantation has become more and more common and surgical techniques have significantly advanced over the past ten years.
Studies have shown that donating part of the liver does not affect a donor woman’s ability to have children. However, it is important for doctors to know if a living donor plans on having children. Still, women should wait one year after their donation surgery before they get pregnant.
A doctor may recommend a liver transplant for a person with end-stage liver disease. A person with this condition will die without a transplant. A doctor may also suggest a liver transplant if other treatments for liver disease aren’t enough to keep a person alive.
Liver transplants may be an option for chronic liver disease or if liver failure happens very quickly. Cirrhosis is the most common reason for which adults need liver transplantation. Cirrhosis replaces healthy liver tissue with scarred tissue.
Common causes of cirrhosis include:
- Alcoholic liver disease
- Chronic Hepatitis B or Chronic Hepatitis C
- Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD)
- Autoimmune Hepatitis
- Biliary Atresia, a liver disease in newborns
- Metabolic disorders
Your medical team will also consider other factors when determining if you need a liver transplant. These include:
- severity of your condition
- other medical conditions you have
- a history of tuberculosis and chronic infections like HIV
- your overall physical condition
- your mental well-being
- level of support from your family or friends
Before granting a liver transplant, a doctor will weigh whether the surgery will be successful and extend a person’s life. A person may not be a likely transplant candidate if they have other chronic conditions that could affect a transplant’s success.
Living-donor transplantation is surgery in which a portion of a donor’s healthy liver is removed and then transplanted into a patient with end-stage liver disease. During the transplant, either the right lobe or the left lobe of the donor’s liver is removed from the donor and implanted in the recipient. The portion of the donor liver selected depends on the recipient’s weight, remnant liver volume and the blood supply to the liver. Both segments (the remaining section of the donor’s liver, and the portion received by the patient) will regenerate and grow to fit the needs of each individual.
This procedure is made possible by the liver’s unique ability to regenerate. After transplantation, the partial livers of both the donor and recipient will grow and remodel to form complete organs.
The donor is carefully evaluated by the transplant team to ensure the donation would harm neither donor nor recipient.
You’re a Family Member
Anyone close relative, of age group between 18 to 55 years can donate their part of liver of their own will. Donor’s blood group should be matching preferably. Donor’s graft liver volume should be adequate for recipient and remnant liver volume should be enough for donor. Donor should be medically fit for donation and should not be pregnant in case of female donor.
You Must Want to Do It
You’re the only one who can decide to donate part of your liver. It’s illegal for anyone to force you to do it. It’s also against the law to sell organs. Transplant centre always make sure that their donors are doing this of their own free will, and you’ll need to sign a consent form. You have the right to back out at any time.
What is liver transplant?
Liver Transplant is the complex surgical procedure where the diseased liver is removed from the body of the patient and a healthy liver (complete or partial liver) is placed and new anatomical connections are restored.
Whar are the types of liver transplant?
Liver Transplant is broadly classified into two types:
Living Donor Liver Transplant (LDLT): This type of liver transplant involves a living donor who donates a part of their liver for his/her loved one. This partial liver is then implanted in the patient and the new connections are restored.
Deceased Donor Liver Transplant (DDLT): Here the donor liver is procured from a brain dead individual after detailed evaluation. Generally complete liver is implanted in the concerned patient. Some people refer it as cadaveric liver transplant in common language.
What happens when I am on a transplant waiting list?
While patients are on the waiting list, their health status can change which may determine their suitability for liver transplant. Therefore it is important for us to know about your health regularly. You have to update liver transplant team regularly with the basic blood tests which has been advised by the liver transplant team.
What happens during liver transplant surgery?
During liver transplant surgery deceased liver is removed completely from recipients body and donated organ is implanted.
What happens after transplant surgery?
After liver transplant surgery recipient is kept in liver transplant ICU for initial few days then they are shifted to room. For initial few days, blood tests and liver doppler are performed daily to check graft function and patency of graft blood vessels. Most of the recipients are discharged within two weeks after liver transplant. Recipients have to take immunosuppressant medications lifelong after liver transplant.
What are the risks and side effects of liver transplant?
After liver transplant there can be risks associated with liver transplant procedure and risks associated with medications. Procedure associated risks are bleeding, bile leak, rejection, graft failure and infection. Immunosuppressant medications can cause variety of side effects like hypertension, diabetes, gastrointestinal upset, raised serum potassium. Most of these side effects can be managed medically.
Is liver transplant successful?
Yes. Surgical success rate of liver transplant is more than 95%. One-year survival after liver transplant is approximately 90%.
Recovery time after liver transplant?
Most of liver transplant recipients gets discharged within two weeks after liver transplant. After successful liver transplant surgery, most of the recipient can resume their work three months after liver transplant.
How can I get a donated liver?
You can get liver either from one of your relatives in live donor liver transplant (LDLT) or you can get liver from brain dead patient if you are listed for deceased donor liver transplant (DDLT).
Will I be physically active after liver transplant?
We try to mobilize our liver transplant recipients as earliest as possible after transplant. Most of liver transplant recipients are able to walk within two to three days after transplant surgery. They can resume their work three months after liver transplant.