Awareness About Liver Transplant

A liver transplant is a surgical procedure done in some patients with liver failure to replace their diseased liver with a healthy liver. 

Liver transplant is a treatment option for people with liver failure whose condition can’t be controlled other with treatments and for some people with liver cancer. Liver failure may happen quickly or over a longer period of time. Liver failure that occurs quickly, in a matter of weeks, is called acute liver failure (fulminant hepatic failure) and is usually the result of medication-induced liver injury or some viral infection. 

Liver Transplant Procedure

When a patient receives a liver transplant, his or her entire liver is removed. It is then replaced by a portion of the donor’s healthy liver. A living donor is often the only option for those who have become too sick to wait for a deceased donor transplant. 

It is important to note that living liver donation has a higher complication rate when compared to living kidney donation and a longer recovery time is expected (2 to 3 months).  On the other hand, liver transplantation, including live donation, 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.

Why liver transplants are done?

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 why adults need liver transplants. Cirrhosis replaces healthy liver tissue with scarred tissue. Causes of cirrhosis include: 

  • alcohol abuse
  • chronic hepatitis B or chronic hepatitis C
  • nonalcoholic fatty liver disease
  • 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. 

What is a living-donor transplant?

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 size of the donor and recipient 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 living donor may be an adult not directly related to the recipient, or a family member. The donor is carefully evaluated by the transplant team to ensure the donation would harm neither donor nor recipient. 

Who can be a living donor?

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 centers 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.

Online Consultation