A liver transplant is a surgical procedure done to replace the diseased liver with a healthy one. During this process, either a part of a liver or whole liver is transplanted. The liver or a part of it may come from a brain-dead organ donor or a healthy living donor.
The liver is the only organ of the human body that can regenerate. The liver of the donor will soon grow back to normal size post-surgery. The part of the liver which is received as a new liver will also grow to normal size within few weeks.
Various acute and chronic ailments may affect the functioning of the liver and may require liver transplants. It is usually offered to patients with end-stage liver disease which may not respond to other treatments. Some of the similar conditions are listed below:
Acute liver failure
Acute liver failure, also known as fulminant hepatic failure. There is a loss of liver function which occurs rapidly within a few days or weeks. It is usually occurs in a patient with no pre-existing liver disease.
It is an infection that leads to inflammation or damage of the liver.
Alcoholic liver disease
It is a condition that occurs as a result of alcohol consumption, which damages the liver and leads to the build-up of fats, inflammation, and scarring. This condition may even be fatal.
Non-alcoholic fatty liver
This is a condition where there is an accumulation of fat in the liver. This may eventually lead to inflammation and scarring in the liver.
Primary liver cancer
Primary liver cancer is when cancerous growth are detected in the liver. Treatments for liver cancer may vary and may include chemotherapy, radiation therapy, removal of part of the liver, and transplant.
Mainly there are two ways a liver transplant is carried out.
Living donor liver transplant
During this procedure, a section or part of the liver is taken from a living donor. As the liver has the potential to regenerate itself, both the transplanted and the remaining section of the donor’s liver are able to grow to its normal size in some time. Usually over 2-4 weeks.
Deceased organ donation transplant
This procedure involves transplanting a liver from a person who died recently. Either the entire liver may be used for a single recipient or it can be split into two such that it benefits two recipients.
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