Various diseases may occur in the liver. Some diseases are mild, while others are severe. Certain diseases progress to cause liver failure. In such cases, a liver transplant is a viable treatment option.
When Liver Transplant Is Needed?
The doctor advises liver transplant in case of liver failure and when the other treatments are no longer beneficial for the patient. A liver transplant is a complex and life-saving procedure. Not all people with liver failure are an ideal candidate for a liver transplant. There are various eligibility criteria that the patient must fulfill before undergoing a liver transplant. Similarly, the living donor should also have to undergo a comprehensive evaluation process to prove the eligibility for donating liver.
Diseases Requiring Liver Transplant
Various diseases require liver transplantation. These diseases cause irreversible damage to the liver cells to an extent that the liver is no longer able to perform its functions. Following are some of the diseases that may require liver transplant:
Intrahepatic cholestasis: Cholestasis is the condition in which the liver cells are unable to release the fluid into the gastrointestinal tract through the bile duct. This results in the accumulation of bile in the liver causing liver damage. There are various types of intrahepatic cholestasis. These are intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy, Familial intrahepatic cholestasis, Idiopathic neonatal hepatitis, and Alagille syndrome.
Liver cancer: Liver cancer involves the presence of cancerous cells in the liver. Liver cancer may be primary or secondary. The primary liver cancer originates within the liver, while the secondary liver cancer spread to the liver from other organs. There are various types of liver cancer. These are hepatocellular carcinoma, hepatoblastoma, hepatic adenoma, and angiosarcoma.
Metabolic diseases: Various metabolic diseases damage the liver to an extent that the patient should undergo a liver transplant. These diseases are urea cycle deficiency, maple syrup urine disease, glycogen storage disease, tyrosinemia, and alpha 1- anti-trypsin deficiency.
Hepatitis: Various hepatitis infection may result in liver damage. The damage may cause steatohepatitis and liver cirrhosis. Liver cirrhosis progresses to cause liver failure. There are various reasons for hepatitis. These are autoimmune hepatitis, viral hepatitis due to hepatitis viruses, idiopathic hepatitis, and chronic active hepatitis during liver cirrhosis.
Biliary atresia: Biliary atresia is a condition in which there is an inflammation in the biliary duct or the bile ducts are completely absent. This results in the accumulation of bile inside the liver resulting in the death of hepatic tissues.
Other types of liver diseases: Various other liver diseases cause significant damage to the liver. These are cystic fibrosis, congenital fibrosis, and cryptogenic cirrhosis.
Types Of Liver Transplant
There are various types of a liver transplants. The type of liver transplant depends upon the status of the patient and the type of donor.
Deceased donor liver transplant: This is one of the most common types of a liver transplant. In this type of transplant, the liver from a recently deceased person is transplanted into the patient. The donor usually gives his consent before death or the immediate relative of the donor may give their consent.
Living donor liver transplant: Because of the ability of the liver to regenerate, the living donor liver transplant is possible. In this type of transplant, a small portion of the liver is taken from the donor and transplanted into the patient. For adults, usually, the right lobe is taken, while for children, the small left lobe is taken from the donor.
Split Liver transplant: Split liver transplantation, as the name indicates, is splitting the liver into two parts and transplant each part in an adult and a child. The large right lobe is transplanted in the adult, while the small left lobe is transplanted in the child.