Liver diseases are common in India. They may progress and cause irreversible damage to the liver. In such a condition, a liver transplant is required. The only source of the liver is through donors, either alive or deceased. Patients with alcoholic cirrhosis, liver cancer, birth defects in the liver, chronic hepatitis infection, and clot in a hepatic vein may require a liver transplant. According to an estimate, almost 10 million people in India die from liver failure every year. As compared to the requirement of approximately 25000 liver transplants per year, only 1500 are performed in India. With a more sedentary lifestyle, increased adulteration, increasing population, excess use of medications, and stressful personal and professional life, there would be the continuous rise of liver transplant requirements in India.
Following factors affect the liver transplant success rate in India:
Age: Age of recipient, as well as donor, affects the success rate of a liver transplant. Donor over the age of 60 years reduces the chances of success of the liver transplant.
Underlying medical conditions: Underlying medical conditions such as diabetes and blood pressure also affects the success rate of a liver transplant.
Liver donor: People in which liver transplant is done from a live donor have more chances of survival as compared to those who have obtained liver from a deceased donor.
Adherence to medications: Adherence to medications after surgery is important to improve the chances of a successful liver transplant. The medication also reduces the risk of complications such as infections.
Strict precautions: Strict control over the diet and adherence to quality life also helps increase the success rate. The patient should avoid smoking and drinking alcohol.
The period between liver procurement and transplant: A study concludes that cold ischemia time of more than 12 hours negatively impacts the success of the liver transplant.
Because of experienced and trained transplant surgeons, improved technology, and the addition of new and potent drugs in post-surgical treatment regiment, the success rate of a liver transplant is progressively increasing. Currently, older people, who were not considered for a liver transplant due to various underlying conditions, have successfully undergone liver transplant surgery. The death after liver transplant was 57% lower in 2013-2016 as compared to that in 2003-2006 in older adults. The operation success rate is over 90% in India.
To improve the success rate of liver transplant in India, both the surgeons and the patients have to follow certain measures:
Experienced and trained surgeons: Liver transplant is a complex process. The surgery should only be done by a trained and experienced surgeon.
Technological advancements: The use of modern technology and sophisticated instruments reduces the risk of complications and accelerates recovery time.
Following the surgeon’s instructions: The patient should strictly follow the instructions given by surgeons such as scheduled medications, avoiding meeting people especially those suffering from contagious diseases and exercise and a healthy diet.
Periodic monitoring: Periodic evaluation is also the key to a successful liver transplant. Never skip the scheduled hospital visit post-surgery.