What Is A Liver Transplant, Who Needs It?

  • Liver transplant, also known as hepatic transplant is a highly specialized procedure that involves the replacement of a damaged or diseased liver with a healthy lobe taken from a living or deceased donor. The procedure is recommended to patients suffering from serious hepatic disease or end-stage hepatic failure. Best doctors in Thane usually recommended it as the last resort of treatment, when other treatment options like medication and therapies fail to work.

    The liver is the largest gland in the human body that performs a plethora of vital functions like processing nutrients, producing bile, purification of blood by reducing toxins and regulating immune responses. If the liver fails to carry out its functions properly, it is eventually going to lead to increased levels of toxins in the body which disrupt all the normal body functions. A liver transplant can help people suffering from such problems lead a longer and better life. You can find the best liver transplant hospital in Pune.

    Who needs a liver transplant?

    Doctors from the best hospital in Pune suggest that liver transplant may be recommended in case of any of the following health issues:

    • Hepatitis B
    • Hepatitis C
    • Alcoholic liver disease which is marked by chronic liver damage due to excessive alcohol consumption
    • Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease marked by cellular damage
    • Genetic hepatic conditions
    • Primary biliary cirrhosis
    • Primary sclerosing cholangitis

    Apart from all these conditions, a liver transplant may also be performed on patients suffering from end-stage liver cancer, a condition marked by the growth of abnormal cells and tissues in the liver which gradually replace all the healthy tissue.

    The liver has regenerative properties, which means that the hepatic cells will regenerate and the donor’s liver will grow back to its original size within a few months.

    The procedure

    Liver transplant procedure is broadly divided into 3 parts - pre, peri and post-operational i.e. what happens before the surgery, what happens during it and what follows. Each and every part is important and greatly determines the success of the transplant

    Pre-operational

    Patients who have been asked to undergo liver transplant need to prepare themselves both physically as well as mentally. It is natural to be overwhelmed as undergoing such a major procedure is surely not a small deal but the patient needs to be positive and optimistic. It is pertinent to have a transparent conversation with the doctor and get all the queries answered. Also, if the patient has any other underlying medical condition or allergy, the doctor should be informed about the same.

    Peri-operational

    The surgical procedure is performed under the influence of anaesthesia such that the patient does not feel any pain. It involves three steps:

    • Removal of the damaged liver or a part of it
    • Removing a lobe of the healthy liver from the donor’s body. However, in case of a deceased donor transplant, the healthy liver can be removed beforehand and stored at a very low temperature to be used later during the surgery.
    • Placing the healthy lobe in the body of the recipient

    It is usually the close family members and friends that opt for the donation but, in certain cases, the donor can be a perfect stranger willing to donate his/her liver. However, the mere fact that someone is willing to donate his liver does not suffice and there are certain eligibility criteria that need to be fulfilled. This is decided with the help of certain screenings and tests all of which help to decide whether the doctors should proceed further or not.

    Post-operational

    After the transplant the patient is shifted to the ICU where he is kept under keen observation for at least 24 hours and then shifted to the general ward from where he may be discharged within a week or so, depending on the pace of recovery. The doctors give a set of guidelines which are to be followed religiously. These include lifestyle as well as dietary changes. Also, the patient is required to take immunosuppressants throughout his life to prevent the risks of organ-rejection.

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