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Liver Transplant

A liver transplant is a process of replacing a sick liver with a donated, healthy liver. Liver transplants require that the blood type and body size of the donor match the person receiving the transplant. Currently, about 600 liver transplants are being performed each year in India.


Who needs a liver transplant?

A liver transplant is needed when a person’s liver fails to perform its functions and there is no hope that the functions will recover with medical treatment. Many diseases can cause liver failure. The commonest indication for a liver transplant is cirrhosis (scarring) of the liver. Common causes of liver cirrhosis are;

  • Chronic Hepatitis B
  • Chronic Hepatitis C
  • Alcoholic liver disease
  • Fatty liver disease
  • Genetic diseases
  • Autoimmune liver diseases

Liver transplants are also done for treatment of liver cancer, acute liver failure and certain bile duct diseases


What are the results of liver transplantation?

Most patients return to a regular lifestyle six months to a year after a successful liver transplant. Eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and taking recommended medications are important factors to staying healthy. Nearly 90 percent of liver transplant patients are alive at one year after their transplant and nearly 75 percent alive five years after their transplants.


What are the signs of advanced liver disease or cirrhosis?

  • People who have the advanced liver disease may have many of the following problems:
  • Jaundice – yellowing of the skin or eyes
  • Itching
  • Dark, tea-colored urine
  • Ascites – an abnormal amount of fluid in the abdomen
  • Vomiting of blood
  • Tendency to bleed
  • Encephalopathy – mental confusion, forgetfulness


What are the kinds of liver transplant?

Most transplant livers come from a donor who has died. This is known as cadaveric liver transplantation or deceased donor liver transplantation. Sometimes a healthy person donates part of his or her liver for a specific patient. This is known as living donor liver transplantation. All donated livers and living donors are tested before transplant surgery.