A liver transplant may be necessary when the liver suffers irreversible damage. The most common causes of irreversible liver damage are alcohol abuse, chronic Hepatitis C virus infection, and long-term autoimmune diseases. Patients who need a liver transplant in Mumbai, Delhi, or any other city have to undergo a few tests to check if they’re eligible for a transplant.
A liver transplant is one of the most complicated medical procedures. This is because a multiphase recovery process is required for the liver to function properly. In fact, liver transplantation is considered a last resort when all other treatments fail and no other medications can cure the disease or halt its progression.
What is Liver Transplant?
Liver transplant surgery is a surgical procedure in which a diseased liver is replaced with a healthy one. The donor’s liver is surgically removed and placed in the patient’s body.
A liver transplant is a life-saving surgery for people living with liver disorders. It is not common, but it’s necessary when the liver fails to function properly or stops functioning altogether. Liver disease can be caused by many factors, and treatment will vary depending on how it was contracted and what caused it.
Who Can Get a Liver Transplant?
No one chooses to have a liver transplant unless there is no other choice. Liver transplantation requires patients to be in an end-stage condition.
The liver is a vital part of your body’s natural functions. It helps digest food, detoxifies harmful substances, and produces bile to digest fat. It also helps regulate blood sugar, cholesterol, and other important substances. However, the liver can be damaged by alcohol, certain medications, toxins, or infections like Hepatitis B or C.
The following are some conditions that make liver transplants necessary:
- Alcoholic cirrhosis
Alcoholic cirrhosis is a common liver disease caused by excessive chronic alcohol consumption. The liver gradually loses its ability to function as it cannot remove toxins from the blood and continues to produce abnormal amounts of harmful substances. Patients with severe alcoholic cirrhosis may need a liver transplant.
- Malignancies involving the liver
The liver can be affected by some types of cancer, including hepatocellular carcinoma and hepatoblastoma. In such cases, a liver transplant is the only choice for patients.
- Primary biliary cirrhosis
Biliary cirrhosis is a liver disease caused by inflammation of the bile ducts in the liver. It can be caused by problems with the liver itself or gallstones, or other diseases that block the bile ducts.
- Long-term Hepatitis B or C infection
Hepatitis B and C are viruses that cause inflammation of the liver. Chronic hepatitis is a disease that can lead to scarring and destruction of the liver and might require a liver transplant to recover.
- Hepatic thrombosis
This is a blood disorder that leads to the formation of clots in the veins and arteries of the liver. This can be caused by a liver problem or other conditions like cancer or cirrhosis.
- Biliary atresia
This condition causes a blockage of the bile ducts in the liver. The symptoms include failure to thrive, pale stools, jaundice, and episodes of vomiting blood. A liver transplant might be necessary to reverse this condition.
- Metabolic disorders associated with liver failure
Certain metabolic disorders can cause liver failure. These include urea cycle disorders, tyrosinemia, glycogen storage diseases, non-ketotic hyperglycemia, and Wilson’s disease.
Different Types of Liver Transplantation
Liver transplants are classified according to the type of donor. There are two types of liver transplants.
- Deceased Donor
In a deceased-donor transplant, the donor is a brain-dead organ donor. The donor’s liver is removed after the donor is declared brain dead. Once the donor’s family agrees to the donation, the deceased donor’s organs are removed and transported to the recipient.
- Living Donor
A living donor transplant is one where part of the liver is removed from a living person who is a close relative of the recipient. This type of transplant is done via laparoscopic surgery. The living donor’s part of the liver is removed using minimally invasive surgery.
What are the risks of a liver transplant?
There are many risks associated with liver transplant surgery as it requires major abdominal surgery. The main risk involved is of infection at the incision site. Some patients may require re-operation if they develop other complications, such as abdominal bleeding or intra-abdominal abscesses, pain, and fever.
The other risks involved in a liver transplant are biliary complications, cardiovascular complications, hepatic artery thrombosis, and rejection.
If you are suffering from liver diseases like cirrhosis and other advanced cases of liver diseases, you can discuss the option of a liver transplant with your doctor. A liver transplant in Mumbai, Delhi, or any other city is a life-saving procedure that helps a patient lead a healthy life.
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