A liver transplant is a surgical method that involves the removal of a failing liver and the replacement of it with a healthy liver from a deceased donor or a part of a healthy liver from a living donor. The liver is the main internal organ and is responsible for a number of important functions, including:
- Nutrients, drugs, and hormones processing.
- Producing bile, which aids in the absorption of fats, cholesterol, and fat-soluble vitamins by the body.
- Creating proteins that aid in blood clotting.
- Getting rid of bacteria and toxins in the blood.
- Infection prevention and immune response regulation.
“A liver transplant is normally reserved for patients who are suffering from severe complications as a result of end-stage chronic liver disease. In rare cases of sudden failure of a previously healthy liver, a liver transplant may be an option.”- says Dr. Gaurav Gupta who is one of the best liver transplant surgeon in Mumbai.
In India, the number of people on the waiting list for a liver transplant far outnumbers the number of deceased-donor livers available. An alternative to waiting for a deceased-donor liver to become eligible is a living-donor liver transplant. Since the human liver regenerates and returns to its normal size after surgical removal of a portion of the organ, living-donor liver transplants are possible.
Why is it done?
People with liver failure who are unable to manage their condition with other treatments, as well as some people with liver cancer, may benefit from a liver transplant.
Dr. Gaurav Gupta, the head of liver transplant and HPB surgery department at Fortis Hospital which is one of the best liver transplant hospitals in Mumbai says that liver failure can occur suddenly or gradually over time. Acute liver failure is described as liver failure that occurs in a matter of weeks. Acute liver failure is a rare disease that commonly occurs as a result of drug side effects. A liver transplant can be used to treat acute liver failure, but it is most often used to treat chronic liver failure.
Chronic liver disease develops over a period of months or years. A variety of conditions can lead to chronic liver failure. Scarring of the liver is the most common cause of chronic liver failure (cirrhosis). Cirrhosis is a condition in which scar tissue replaces normal liver tissue, causing the liver to malfunction. The most common cause for a liver transplant is cirrhosis.
Following are few other reasons of liver damage-
- Hepatitis B and C are two of the most common causes of cirrhosis, which can lead to liver failure and the need for a liver transplant.
- Excessive alcohol consumption damages the liver, resulting in alcoholic liver disease.
- Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease is a disorder in which fat deposits in the liver cause inflammation and damage to liver cells.
- Hemochromatosis, which causes excessive iron accumulation in the liver, and Wilson’s disease, which causes excessive copper buildup in the liver, are two genetic disorders that affect the liver.
- Primary biliary cirrhosis, primary sclerosing cholangitis, and biliary atresia are diseases that damage the bile ducts (the tubes that bring bile away from the liver). The most common cause for a liver transplant in children is biliary atresia.
Risks & complications of the procedure
Surgery to transplant the liver presents a high risk of serious complications. However experienced liver transplant surgeons in Fortis, Mumbai will monitor the patient for any severe complication so that necessary steps can be taken to handle the situation. There are complications involved with both the operation and the medications used to prevent the donor liver from being rejected after the transplant.
Risks associated with the operation-
Donated liver failure
Donated liver rejection
Confusion or seizures
Bile duct complications, such as bile duct leaks or bile duct shrinkage.
Recurrence of liver disease in the transplanted liver can also be a long-term complication.
Side effects of anti-rejection drugs –
You’ll take drugs for the rest of your life to keep your body from rejecting the donated liver after a liver transplant. These anti-rejection drugs may have a number of negative side effects, including:
- Thinning of the bones
- Diarrhea is a common ailment.
- Aches and pains
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
Anti-rejection medications weaken the immune system, which increases the risk of infection. Your doctor can prescribe antibiotics to aid in the fight against infection.
Your chances of receiving a successful liver transplant and long-term survival are determined by your specific circumstances including the doctors experience, post surgery care, lifestyle changes etc. Fortis hospital in Mumbai is one of the best hospital for liver transplant in India where Dr. Gaurav Gupta & his experienced team will assist you to recover faster.
Approximately 75% of people who receive a liver transplant live for at least five years. That means that out of every 100 people who undergo a liver transplant, 75 will live for five years and 25 will die within five years. People who receive a liver from a living donor have a higher chance of surviving in the short term than those who receive a liver from a deceased donor. Long-term outcomes are difficult to compare since patients who receive a liver from a living donor normally have a shorter wait for a transplant and aren’t as ill as those who receive a liver from a deceased donor.