Liver is essential as it produces energy from food and filters the blood. Certain liver digestives and liver diseases may cause the liver to fail.
Liver diseases that may lead to Liver failure
Types of Cirrhosis:
- Primary cirrhosis causes bile inflammation in the initial stages followed by destruction in the later stages
- Secondary cirrhosis is caused due to a prolonged obstruction in the bile duct
- Cirrhosis may also occur due to unknown reasons or cryptogenic causes
- Auto immune cirrhosis is caused when the body’s defence mechanism or the immune system starts attacking the bile in the liver
- Hepatitis B & C – Chronic hepatitis results in prolonged inflammation in the liver and may lead to liver transplant in severe conditions
- Biliary Atreia – Birth defect, found in babies which causes no development or an abnormal development of the bile duct
Identifying the right donor is critical and of prime importance in a liver transplant.
Donor for liver transplant surgery:
There are two types of donors, a healthy living donor or a deceased donor.
The liver is separated from the body of a Cardiac death organ donors and brain dead organ donor and is preserved in an OrganOx Metra Device, which keeps the liver in a healthy condition even when it is removed from the body.
In case of a living donor, the family member of the patient is usually selected if the blood type and other vital factors match.
There are no threats to the body in case of partial liver removal, as the liver regenerates itself and grows back to it’s original size within a few weeks or months.
Finding a donor
Medical experts recommend liver transplant as the last option. If the patient is confident of undergoing the surgery, his or her name appears on the waiting list along with information about their blood group, urgency and several other factors, which determine the time required for the patient to get the donor. Patients with a higher MELD scores are put on priority on the waiting list so they can get the donor faster.
Screening and shortlisting the donor is a crucial and a lengthy process. The donor also has to undergo a medical evaluation, The blood type of the donor need to be compatible with that of the recipient. Minor variations between the donor and the recipient’s bile ducts and blood vessels can adapt after the liver transplantation. The donor’s lab results are kept confidential, and the team of doctors explain the procedure and consequences after partial removal of the liver.
Process of the Liver transplant Surgery
Liver transplant surgery is considered to be a major surgery, which requires highly experienced professionals and extremely sophisticated medical equipments.
Orthotopic surgery is currently used, and the procedure has the following 3 phases:
- Hepatectomy – This is the first phase when the native liver is removed
- Anhepatic – This is considered as the no-liver phase, after the removal of the native liver
- Post Implantation – The new liver is planted in this phase
After the surgery, the patient is hospitalized for one or two weeks, to ensure that the liver starts functioning.