Liver Transplant - medECUBE
Liver Transplant

Liver Transplant

A liver transplant is a surgical procedure to remove a diseased liver and replace it with a healthy liver from a donor. Most liver transplant operations use livers from deceased donors, though a liver may also come from a living donor.

The number of people waiting for new livers is much larger than the number of available livers, so liver transplant is reserved for people who are critically ill. Some people receive a liver transplant right away, while others spend many months waiting for a liver transplant.

WHO NEEDS A LIVER TRANSPLANT?

Liver transplant is a treatment option for people who have end-stage liver failure that can’t be controlled using other treatments and for some people with liver cancer. Liver failure can occur rapidly, in a matter of weeks (acute liver failure), or it can occur slowly over months and years (chronic liver failure).
COMMON CAUSES OF END STAGE LIVER FAILURE DISEASE INCLUDES:

  • Liver cirrhosis
  • Alcoholic liver disease
  • Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease
  • Early-stage liver cancer
  • Hemochromatosis
  • Primary biliary cirrhosis
  • Primary sclerosing cholangitis
  • Wilson’s disease
  • Biliary duct atresia
  • Cystic fibrosis

When can a Liver Transplant take place?

A Liver transplant may be performed regardless of the age of the recipient (patient who requires the kidney) provided they have a good health status that can withstand the major operation. Then only there is a good chance of transplant success, and to know if the person is aware and willing to comply to take immunosuppressant medications after the transplant, so as to prevent rejection of the new organ by the body’s immune system.

Liver transplant surgery carries a risk of significant complications, including:

  • Bile duct complications, including bile duct leaks or shrinking of the bile ducts
  • Bleeding
  • Blood clots
  • Failure of donated liver
  • Infection
  • Memory and thinking problems
  • Rejection of donated liver

Because liver transplantation is such a successful procedure, doctors are recommending this procedure for more and more patients. Unfortunately, there are not enough donor organs available, which means that more people are waiting for transplants.

To solve this problem, surgeons can remove a portion of a living person’s liver and implant it in the liver recipient. The liver regrows to its full size in both people.

In addition to making more liver transplants available, patients who receive living donor transplants experience these advantages:

Transplanting patients earlier in the liver disease progression often prevents them from becoming very sick. They also recover faster from the transplant surgery.

The graft – the new liver – is more likely to survive when it comes from a living donor.

The recipient’s body is less likely to reject the donated organ (graft).

Recipients spend less time on the waiting list.

Side effects of anti-rejection medications

After a liver transplant, you’ll take medications for the rest of your life to help prevent your body from rejecting the donated liver. These medications can cause a variety of side effects, including:

  • Bone thinning
  • Diabetes
  • Diarrhea
  • Headaches
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol

 

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