The decision to liver transplant is done after a thorough examination of the patient. If the doctor decides that the patient may able to live without a liver transplant, he may advise undergoing liver transplant surgery. Liver transplant in Delhi is done at various hospitals in the city.
Once there is a decision of liver transplant, doctors evaluate the patient to analyze whether he is healthy enough to undergo liver transplant surgery. This includes managing the underlying medical conditions such as diabetes and blood pressure and any other disorder such as anemia.
If the patient is deemed fit to undergo liver transplant surgery, the patient is included in the waiting list for a liver transplant. The team began searching for a matching donor for the patient. The patient is counseled by a transplant coordinator which provides detailed information about liver transplant surgery and how to get prepared for surgery.
The patient may also meet with the person who had already undergone liver transplant surgery to share his experience and recovery timelines. The patient is also provided services of dietitians, psychologists, and financial advisors.
Model for End-Stage Liver Disease (MELD) for adults and Pediatric End-Stage Liver Disease (PELD) scoring system determines the waiting list priority. However, patients with acute liver failure are given priority in the waiting list irrespective of the score in the scoring system.
When the liver is donated by the live donor, liver transplant surgery is pre-scheduled. However, in the case of a deceased donor, the liver should be transplanted as soon as possible. The patient is immediately notified in the case of a deceased donor.
The medical and paramedical staff tries to make the environment comfortable for the patients. They provide information related to the surgical process. Before preparing the patient for surgery, the doctor thoroughly evaluates the vital parameters that may impact the outcome of the surgery.
Patients are advised not to drink alcohol or smoke and remain as active as they can. The patient should take a healthy diet and remains stress-free. The patient should not take medications especially NSAIDs such as ibuprofen without the knowledge of the surgeon.
Liver transplant surgery is major surgery. The surgery generally takes 6-8 hours. During the procedure of liver transplantation, the diseased liver is replaced with the new liver. In the case of a live donor, only a small portion of the liver is transplanted. The liver has the unique characteristic of growing into a full liver within a few months.
The surgeon makes an incision on the abdomen to gain excess to the diseased liver. During the replacement, the surgeon connects the blood vessels and the bile duct to the new liver. After the transplant procedure gets completed, the staples and stitches are used to close the incision. The patient is then transferred to the intensive care unit.
The recovery period depends upon various factors. These factors include age and underlying medical conditions. For a few days, the patient is kept in the intensive care unit. Vital parameters are monitored and medical and para-medical staff watch for any sign of complications. The patient should stay in the hospital for 5-10 days. The patient should visit the hospital for periodic evaluation and analyze the sign of post-surgical complications.
The patient should take the immunosuppressants for the rest of their lives. For 4-6 weeks, the routine activities of the patients are restricted. Within 3-6 months after the surgery, the patient may be able to go back to work.
Surgeon and para-medical staff has an important role in the recovery of the patient after liver transplant surgery. The preparation of recovery starts before the actual surgery through counseling and dissemination of important information. Further, the health of the patient is continuously monitored before surgery to avoid any complications. Complications after surgery may lead to delayed recovery. Further, the staff at the hospital keep the environment healthy and comfortable. After the surgery, the patient should be carefully monitored and the schedule of visiting the hospitals should be provided during discharge of the patient from the hospital.