Liver Transplant Surgery
Liver is a large meaty organ present in the right side of the stomach. The main role of the liver is to make proteins that are necessary for blood clotting and detoxify chemicals and metabolize drugs. As of now, there is no way to compensate the absence of liver in the body. If there is any malfunction in the liver, then the best way is to opt for Liver Transplantation.
A liver transplant is a surgical procedure to remove a non functioning liver and replace it with a healthy liver from a living or deceased donor. Liver transplantation is a treatment option which is reserved for people who are having significant complications due to end stage chronic liver disease or liver failure. Liver transplantation is highly regulated technique which requires careful harvest of the donor organ and meticulous implantation into the recipient.
There are different tests which are required before getting a liver transplant. Some of them are –
1. Computed tomography or CT which uses X-rays and to create pictures of liver.
2. Doppler ultrasound to determine if the blood vessels are open.
3. Echocardiogram to help check the function of the heart.
4. Blood test to determine blood type, clotting ability, gauging liver function.
Liver transplant is legal in India but there are certain rules and clauses attached to prevent commercial and illegal use of organs. According to the law, kidney transplant of foreign patient can only happen through a living donor. Moreover, the donor has to be at least a first relative of the patient.
Liver transplant is required when there is severe liver disease. The most common cause for liver transplant is liver cirrhosis. In this condition, the condition of the liver deteriorates due to chronic injury. It is caused by viruses such as hepatitis b and c, alcohol, autoimmune liver diseases, hereditary liver diseases etc. For patients with advanced liver disease where medical treatment fails, liver transplantation is the treatment.
The reasons for liver transplantation in children are different. The most common reason is biliary atresia. It is a rare condition in newborn infants in which the common bile ducts between the liver and the small intestine is blocked or absent. Bile in turn helps in digestion of food. If it is left untreated, then liver failure may occur. The only effective treatment is in the form of liver transplantation.
In this procedure, general anesthesia is provided which means that you won’t be awake during the procedure. Before the diseased liver is removed, the surgeon will disconnect your liver’s blood supply and the bile ducts. Then, the donor liver is placed in your body and the blood vessels along with the bile ducts are reattached.
Yes. It is an option. Not every hospital has this facility, but you can get it done from some of them.
Some of the liver diseases can reappear in the new liver. One common occurrence is of Hepatitis C.
There is moderate pain but it is not as severe as other abdominal surgeries. This is because nerves are severed during the incision.
Most patients are hospitalized for 7 to 10 days after liver transplantation.