Liver transplant is the procedure where the infected or diseased liver is replaced with a part or whole of new liver from the donor. Liver transplantation is the only option for liver failure as nothing else can replace the liver function as in kidney failure where dialysis can be done to sustain life.
What are the indications of liver transplant?
A patient with severe acute or chronic liver failure and a higher MELD score (Points according to the severity of illness), who cannot survive without a transplant.
Who cannot receive a liver transplant?
The absolute contraindications for liver transplant are alcohol/substance abuse, malignancy, HIV infection, advanced heart & lung diseases and severe infections.
Pre transplant procedures
As part of the pre transplant work up you will have to get certain tests done and will have to consult some doctors to confirm that you are fit for the transplant. Cross matching will be done to ensure your body does not have any antibodies against the new liver. Your transplant will be postponed or cancelled if you develop any infection or disease prior to your transplant. So it is important to eat healthy and stay fit.
The surgery is performed under general anesthesia .An incision is made under the ribs and the diseased liver is removed. Later the donor liver is transplanted and the blood vessels are connected. The surgery lasts for 6-12 hours.
After the transplant
You will be able to leave the hospital within two or three weeks. Immunosuppressants, the medication that prevents your body from rejecting the new liver has to be taken daily without fail. You will have to strictly adhere to the diet, medications and follow ups as prescribed to stay without complications.