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Things You Need To Know About Liver Transplantation

Things You Need To Know About Liver Transplantation

January 6, 2020

What Is The Status Of Liver Transplantation In India?

The liver transplant procedure is done in India with high success rates. The last few years have seen a rapid increase in liver transplantation procedures in India. Still, India has to travel a lot in the field of this procedure. According to an estimate, every year almost 20000 people require liver transplant surgery but only about 1000 patients undergo liver transplantation. This low rate of the procedure is attributed to two main reasons. First is the cost. Although India attracts many patients from other countries because of low cost and high-quality healthcare but the cost is not affordable to most patients. Second, there is a huge demand-supply gap in liver transplantation.

To sum up the number of liver transplant surgeries in India and to analyze their outcomes, a registry has been started on 15th August 2019 which got a satisfactory response from hospitals.

When Liver Transplantation Is Required?

Liver transplantation is the last option for patients suffering from liver failure when other treatment strategy fails to improve the symptoms or maintaining the status quo. Owning to the limited availability of donors for liver transplantation, a comprehensive medical evaluation of the patient is done to decide if the patient needs liver transplantation. The decision is collectively taken by the team of medical doctors, surgeons, nephrologists and other healthcare providers.

Liver transplantation is required in cases of progressive liver disease such as liver cirrhosis, acute liver failure or chronic liver failure.

What Is Living Donor Liver Transplantation?

Because of the unique ability of the liver to regenerate itself, living donor liver transplantation is possible. Such liver transplantation is increasing because of insufficient availability of cadaver liver. The living donors are either immediate relatives such as parents, son, daughter, spouse, granddaughter, grandson or grandparents or distant relatives, friends and colleagues.  Within a few months, the liver regenerates itself to its natural size.

What Are The Eligibility Criteria For Living Donors?

Detailed medical evaluation of the donor is done to identify if he or she is eligible to donate the liver. Following are some of the conditions:

  • The donor should be healthy and do not any serious medical condition.
  • The donor should be able to live for a few months with the remaining part of the liver.
  • The donor should be as compatible as possible with the recipient although high-end immunosuppressants have undermined this eligibility criterion.
  • The donor should be above 18 and below 55 years of age.
  • The donor should have either a personal or emotional relationship with the donor.
  • The size of the liver of the donor should be comparable to that of the recipient.

What Are The Benefits Of Living Donor Liver Transplantation?

Following are the benefits of liver transplantation:

  • It saves the life of people by providing them the liver without waiting for cadaver donors.
  • Study indicates that people with living donor liver transplant have a more positive outcome as compared to people receiving a liver from cadaver donors.
  • Liver donor transplantation can be done through scheduled, unlike cadaver liver transplant where the patient is rushed to hospital when the liver from a cadaver donor is available.