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Liver Transplant: Improving Chances To Stay Alive

Liver Transplant: Improving Chances To Stay Alive

July 1, 2020


The liver encounters various disorders. In some cases, the liver self-heal the condition. However, some condition deteriorates the overall function of the liver. This is when proper care of the liver is required. Conditions such as fatty liver disease and chronic hepatitis may progress to cause liver failure. Patients may also suffer from acute liver failure. Liver transplant proves to be an important treatment strategy to save the life of patients with liver failure. However, there is a significant cost involved along with complications and risks during and after the surgery.

When Liver Transplant Is Required?

The liver is an important organ. It performs various functions, the majority of them are essential for healthy living. Any problem in the liver reduces its functional capacity. Some problems are mild and may or may not require medical intervention. Some other requires aggressive treatment. However, in some cases, non-invasive and almost all invasive treatment therapy fail to revive the liver. In such cases, doctors recommend liver transplantation.

A liver transplant is not recommended during the initial stages of the disease. Every possible option is explored to treat the condition or delay its progression to eliminate the need for a liver transplant. Surgery is recommended before the terminal stage of liver disease. If liver failure happens before surgery, the patient may not able to overcome the stress caused due to liver transplant surgery.

Chronic alcohol intake may lead to liver cirrhosis which may require a liver transplant. Other conditions that may require liver transplant are chronic hepatitis and liver cancer.

Unique About Liver Transplant

One of the unique characteristics of the liver is its ability to regenerate. Approximately 25% of the liver can regenerate into the whole liver. This brings an advantage to the recipient as a living person is also able to donate part of his liver. The liver of both the recipient and donor grows into full within a few months after the surgery. For the successful liver transplant, the size of the body of the recipient should be equivalent to that of the donor.

Liver transplant has brought a ray of hope to people who suffer from acute liver failure. Comprehensive testing is done in both the donor and recipient before undergoing transplant surgery.

Liver Transplant Donor

Different types of donors can donate a liver for transplantation. These include dead and living donors. Dead donors have either permitted for liver donation before death or can be done through the permission of their relatives after death. Living donors may be directed or non-directed. Directed related living donors include the relatives while directed unrelated donors are friends or colleagues. Undirected donors are those that are not, in any way, related to the recipient.

Irrespective of the type of donor, the compatibility of both the donors and recipients should be checked to ensure successful transplantation. Various tests done are blood tests, kidney tests, and overall health analysis. The patient not having a liver donor has to wait according to the waiting list. The priority of the patient is set by the urgency of liver transplantation.

Because of the scarcity of liver donors in India, many patients died while waiting for a liver. The doctors try their best possible to delay the progression of the terminal stage. They also advise certain precautionary measures to the patient that may prolong his life. Further, at times, the doctor has also monitored the patients so that occurrence of other medical conditions can be avoided.

Liver Transplant Cost In India

There is a significant cost involved in liver transplant surgery. Fortunately, the liver transplant surgery is covered under the insurance schemes of most companies. Apart from the surgery cost, the cost also includes post-surgical care and medications. Liver transplant cost in India varies significantly in various cities. Also, the cost of surgery varies in different hospitals in the city.

The reasons for variation may be because the cost depends on multiple factors during liver transplant surgery. The cost of surgery depends upon the severity of the disease, experience of the surgeon, hospital infrastructure, reputation of hospital in liver transplant surgery, post-surgical care, and cost of medications. Cost also involves follow-up visits that may include consultation fees and tests to monitor the functioning of the new liver.

Liver transplant surgery is successful in India and allows the patient to live a healthy life. The patient should undergo liver transplant surgery from an experienced surgeon as it may involve risks and complications to both donor and recipient.