Liver transplant is a complex and life saving surgery. It is the replacement surgery of existing damaged or diseased liver of a patient, with the healthy liver of the deceased donor, who has suddenly succumbed due to an accident or due to bleeding in brain. The donor could also be a living person with a healthy liver. Its a miraculous healthcare wonder, carefully executed by experts! Liver Transplant is a life saving alternative to add years in life!
Liver transplantation also known as Hepatic Transplantation is a major surgery with the good chances of survival of the patient and 75% patients survive till five years after surgery. Liver transplant is the only alternative treatment option to the end stage liver disease and /or active renal failure.
Liver location in body
Liver is the largest internal organ in the human abdomen and weighs about 3 pounds in weight.
It is located in the right side of the abdomen just below the diaphragm.
Physician can locate enlarged or swollen liver just by locating it at the right side of your abdomen, by palpation.
Liver performs several important functions inside the body. They are as follows:
Cleansing action: Removal of bacteria and toxins from blood.
Regulatory action: Prevention of infection and conducting regulation of immune responses to different infections.
Processing action: Process nutrients, medication and hormones to conduct vital body functions.
Production: Production of Bile juices to absorb and metabolize fats, cholesterol and fat soluble vitamins. Produce proteins that help to make blood clot.
Who needs Liver Transplant?
The people waiting for liver transplants are more in numbers, than the living or deceased liver donors.
Patients need Liver transplants when their liver fail to work adequately due to either infections or complications of medication. Liver failure can occur due to:
Hepatitis (viral inflammation of Liver)
Liver Cirrhosis (scarring of the Liver due to build up of bile in excess)
Biliary Atresia (malfunctioning liver ducts)
Alcoholism (excessive consumption of alcohol)
Liver Cancer (abnormal growth of cells in and around liver)
Wilson’s disease (rare inherited disease in which copper deposit formation occurs throughout body including liver)
Amyloidosis (protein misfolding disorder).
These are some main causes of liver failure which create the need for Liver replacement.
Liver disease symptoms
Some of the common symptoms which lead to the diagnosis of Liver disease are as follows:
Nausea and Vomiting
Poor weight gain
Loss of Appetit and Fatigue
Ascites (fluid retention in the abdomen)
Swelling of legs and feet
Mental confusion sometimes leading to coma
Dark excretory products which are sometimes stained.
Risk involved in the Liver Transplant procedure
There are also the chances of risk involved in the transplant procedure. This risk may be either due to the surgery procedure involved and also of the rejection of the donor liver, by the patient’s body.
Risks are as follows:
- Excessive Bleeding
- Formation of Blood clots
- Internal Bile duct leaks
- Frequent Infections
- Rejection of donor liver by receiver body
- Mental confusion and /or seizures.
Due to established liver regeneration power of the human body, the alternative option of placing part of living liver in the patient is becoming more common, than waiting in long queues for deceased donors.
The replaced portion regenerates and returns to normal size after some time, from the date of surgery and regains normal functioning.
Presence of all subspecialized experts under one roof makes the whole liver transplant process more monitored and more opinionated.
Patient is under guidance, care and supervision of capable experts and much more safe and well coordinated.