The liver is the largest internal organ in your body. The liver has a lot of vital functions. The liver is necessary for survival and there is currently no way to compensate for the absence of the liver.
• It produces bile, a mixture of chemicals, which help in digestion
• It helps in breaking down food to turn it into energy
• The liver also acts as a filter and removes harmful substances from your blood.
• It makes chemicals that help in fighting infection
• It makes chemicals that are important for blood clotting
• It stores iron, vitamins and other essential substances
A liver transplant is needed when a person’s liver fails to perform its functions and there is no hope that the functions will recover with medical treatment. Many diseases can cause liver failure. The commonest indication for a liver transplant is cirrhosis (scarring) of the liver. Common causes of liver cirrhosis are :
• Chronic Hepatitis B
• Chronic Hepatitis C
• Alcoholic liver disease
• Fatty liver disease
• Genetic diseases
• Autoimmune liver diseases
Liver transplants are also done for treatment of liver cancer, acute liver failure and certain bile duct diseases.
Most patients return to a regular lifestyle six months to a year after a successful liver transplant. Eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and taking recommended medications are important factors to staying healthy. Nearly 90 percent of liver transplant patients are alive at one year after their transplant and nearly 75 percent alive five years after their transplants.
People who have advanced liver disease may have many of the following problems:
• Jaundice – yellowing of the skin or eyes
• Dark, tea – colored urine
• Ascites – an abnormal amount of fluid in the abdomen
• Vomiting of blood
• Tendency to bleed
• Encephalopathy – mental confusion, forgetfulness
Most transplant livers come from a donor who has died. This type of donor is called a deceased donor. Sometimes a healthy person donates part of his or her liver for a specific patient. In this case the donor is called a living donor. All donated livers and living donors are tested before transplant surgery. The testing makes sure the donor liver works as it should, matches your blood type, and is the right size, so it has the best chance of working in your body.
The amount of liver that is donated will be about 50% of the recipient’s current liver size. Within 6 – 8 weeks, both the donated pieces of liver and the remaining part in the donor grow to normal size. Adults usually receive the entire liver from a deceased donor. Sometimes only a portion of a whole liver from a deceased donor is used to fit a smaller person (split liver transplantation). In some cases, a liver from a deceased donor is split into two parts. The smaller part may go to a child, and the larger part may go to an adult. Both types of transplants usually have good results.
Liver transplantation is a major operation that takes place only in specialized transplant centers. During a liver transplantation, the surgeon removes the diseased liver and replaces it with a healthy one. The diseased liver is removed through an abdominal incision.
The liver’s blood supply (portal vein, inferior vena cava, and hepatic artery) and the biliary system are all connected to the new liver after it is placed into the abdominal cavity. Persons who have liver transplants require intensive care and close monitoring after their operation. After surgery, the patient is taken to the intensive care unit, is monitored very closely with several machines. The patient will be on a respirator, a machine that breathes for the patient, and will have a tube in the windpipe bringing oxygen to the lungs.
Once the patient wakes up and can breathe alone, the tube and respirator are removed. The patient will have several blood tests, x-ray films, and ECGs during the hospital stay.
Blood transfusions may be necessary. The patient leaves the intensive care unit once he or she is fully awake, able to breathe effectively, and has a normal temperature, blood pressure, and pulse, usually after about 3-4 days. The patient is then moved to a room with fewer monitoring devices for a few days longer before going home.
The average hospital stay after surgery is 1 – 3 weeks. The patient may be required to remain in Mumbai for up to three months for close follow-up.
The patient will be on immune suppressive medication for the rest of his or her life to prevent the body rejection of the new liver.
Acute rejection: Most rejection happens while you are still in the hospital, but it can happen at any time. Rejection can be treated with drugs. The patient may need a liver biopsy.
Recurrence of liver disease: The diseases that damaged your liver in the first place may come back in the new liver. They can damage the new liver a little bit or a lot. The disease can often be treated easily, but sometimes a second transplant is needed.
Medical complications: Transplant patients can get infections, high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, thinning of the bones, and become obese.
Lifelong medical follow-up is required. You will be required to remain in contact with our transplant centre. Our coordinators will contact you periodically and advise you about blood tests and follow-up visits.
We will maintain a database of all your laboratory results so that we can follow you closely and advise changes in dose of medications over time. We will also advise you general health checks on your follow-up visits.
The Liver Transplant and Hepato-Pancreato Biliary Surgery Department is a state-of-the-art facility with the best equipment and the latest infrastructure. The facility boasts of the best Liver Transplant ICU with a separate AHU, reducing the risk of infection to the minimum. The liver transplant team comprises of Gastroenterologists, Surgeons, Intensivists, Anesthetists, Technicians, Counsellors and Specialised Nurses, who have vast experience in managing Gastrointestinal, Hepatobiliary and Pancreatic diseases.
It is one of the few centres where deceased donor as well as living donor liver transplantation is done. The centre also offers comprehensive treatment for Gastrointestinal, Hepatobiliary and Pancreatic diseases. The liver transplant team is the one of the most experienced and has been extensively trained in the best centres around the world with huge experience in performing and managing liver transplants.
ADITYA BIRLA MEMORIAL HOSPITAL, ADITYA BIRLA MARG, CHINCHWAD, PUNE – 411033, MAHARASHTRA , INDIA.
For Telephonic assistance,
call us on :- +91 98811 23006
For Emergency services : +91-20-3071 7500-3
For Ambulance services: +91-20-40707777/30717777
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