Liver transplant is a surgical procedure that relates to a surgical procedure wherein a diseased liver in an individual is replaced either wholly or in part by a healthy liver from a donor. And what is important to know is that, liver transplantation is a globally accepted treatment for some advanced liver diseases, giving the recipients longer survival and better quality of life.
Who needs a liver transplant?
A liver transplant procedure is suggested if you are suffering from an end stage liver disease such as cirrhosis.
Cirrhosis has an array of causes and basically what it does is destroy normal liver cells and replace them with scar tissue, making the liver non-functional.
Some causes of cirrhosis are:
- long-term infection with the hepatitis C or B virus
- excessive alcohol drinking
- autoimmune liver diseases
- the buildup of fat in the liver or fatty liver
- certain hereditary liver diseases
What is the procedure for Liver Transplant Surgeries?
Most donor livers come from people who have just deceased or died. This donor is called as a deceased donor. Even a healthy living person can donate his or her liver partly to a patient, typically to a family member. This type of donor is called as a living donor. Both types of transplants usually have good results.
The procedure of liver donation is performed in an operation theatre by trained team of surgeons, nurses and technicians under general anaesthesia.
The donor liver is placed and is connected to the blood vessels (portal veins & hepatic artery) and the bile duct to make it functional. After the liver is positioned it is checked for its functioning and the surgical wound is closed with the help of sutures. The patient will then be closely monitored in a surgical intensive care unit to avoid any post operative complications. All transplant patients must be put on immunosuppressive therapy to avoid organ rejection.
Outcome of A Liver Transplant:
Liver transplant is a major surgical procedure which aims at the overall improvement of quality of life in patients who are affected with chronic liver disease. Though it is a major surgical procedure with several risks associated with it, its success rates are reported in literature. It is advised to ask your consulting specialist about the benefits and risks associated with the procedure. For a transplant to be successful it is essential to follow the pre-operative and post-operative instructions, maintain a healthy lifestyle and continue the medication as suggested by your consulting specialist.