Liver Transplant Surgery is done to improve the quality of life of a person who has a diseased liver. The dysfunctional liver is removed and is replaced with the healthy liver which is donated by a deceased or living person.
A healthy liver has an important role in the body. It has a key function in the storage and absorption of nutrients as well as medications, and eliminates toxins and bacteria from blood.
Need for liver transplant
Sometimes, the liver gets diseased over time. Patients who have been diagnosed with liver cirrhosisare referred for liver transplant procedure.
Liver cirrhosis can occur due to the following reasons:
- The bile ducts which carry bile juice from liver and small intestine to gall bladder becomes diseased
- Wilson’s disease – the liver begins to accumulate copper, a genetic problem
- Hemochromatosis, another genetic problem in which the liver starts building up iron
- Biliary artresia – a condition occurring in children wherein an infant is born without bile ducts or born with damaged or blocked bile ducts
- Liver cancer such as hepatoblastoma, hepatocellular carcinoma, cholangiocarcinoma
Some other reasons why doctors may recommend liver transplant are:
- Chronic or acute liver failure
- Hepatic cancer or tumor
- NAFLD – Nonalchoholic Fatty Liver Disease
- Chronic Viral Hepatitis
- Other diseases which cause liver failure
- PSC – inflammation, swelling and scarring of bile ducts inside and outside the liver
Symptoms of liver disease
- Feeling extremely weak and fatigued all the time
- Loss of appetite
- Forgetfulness and confusion
- Vomiting and black stool
- Weight loss
- Muscle loss
- Fluid build-up in the abdomen
Requirements from donor and recipient of liver transplant
Once the liver transplant procedure is confirmed then the following tests have to be done:
- Blood tests – both donor and recipient have to have various blood tests
- Tests related to vital organs – both recipient and donor
- Kidneys, heart and lungs functionality is checked at the transplant center, and recipient’s medical history is noted
- Psychometric tests of donor and recipient, so that both are comfortable about the transplant
Financial and addiction counseling is conducted to counsel the recipient and make him/her feel at ease about the entire procedure.
If it is decided that the patient has to have a liver transplant, then he/she is evaluated by the liver transplant committee and it is determined whether he/she would be added to the national waiting list for a liver transplantation or not. The patient is informed about the criteria for selection as well as progress at all times. He/she is updated about the care to be taken after the transplant.
The first step is matching the recipient and donor liver by matching the blood groups and the size of the liver. There is a database which matches all the required aspects. The transplant surgery is scheduled once the donor is identified. The recipient undergoes the last set of required tests and he is prepared for surgery. The surgery takes approximately 12 hours.
What happens during surgery
General anesthesia is administered to the recipient before the surgery, through a tube which is inserted into his/her windpipe. A catheter and intravenous line is also inserted in the body of the recipient for administration of medicines as well as fluids.
An incision is made in the recipient’s upper abdomen and diseased or inured liver is slowly detached from the connecting blood vessels and bile ducts.
The team then clamps the vessels and duct and removes the recipient’s liver. The common bile duct and blood vessels are reattached to the donor liver.
The transplant surgeon places the donated liver in the location where the diseased liver was. Around and near the transplanted liver, some tubes are inserted to help the new liver remove blood and fluids from the transplant/abdominal region.An additional tube might be used to drain out the bile from the new, transplanted liver into external pouch. This helps the surgeon to assess whether the liver is producing required quantity of bile or not.
If the liver is taken from a living donor, then two surgeries are performed. A portion of healthy liver is removed from donor’s body in first surgery. In the second surgery, the recipient receives the healthy liver portion from the donor, after his/her diseased liver is removed. During the next few months the liver cells multiply to form the whole liver inside the recipient.
Recovery phase for both donor and recipient
After transplantation, a minimum of seven days hospital stay is required for the donor, and the recipient has to stay in hospital for a minimum of 21 days. From the OT, recipient and donor aretaken to anesthesia recovery room, then to the ICU. Once they stabilize, the breathing tube is removed and they are shifted to the hospital room.
The recipient’s vital organs are monitored for stability at all times. The recovery time varies from patient to patient.The patient may have to stay in the hospital for as long as the doctor says, which could be upto eight weeks.
After being discharged, initially, the patient has to visit the hospital once every month to check the transplant compatibility. The frequency will decrease to once every year later.
Why MedTours Global?
- We are associated with the best hospitals globally having the emergency infrastructure, fully equipped with the latest technologies and techniques to overcome from every emergency condition.
- Our team of doctors are highly experienced in ‘Emergency Patient Management’ and work together to save the patient.
- Consultation from doctors through e-mail, phone, and video calling.
- Rehabilitation programs are organized to assist complex surgery patients.
- Complete support and assistance being given before and after treatment.
- Cost of treatment is quite less as compared to other service providers.
- We are always ready to offer our helping hand and our services are available Free of Cost 24/7.