Liver Transplant Surgery

Liver Transplant Surgery

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Liver Transplant Surgery

What is Liver Transplant?

Liver transplantation surgically replaces a failing or diseased liver with one that is normal and healthy. At this time, transplantation is the only cure for liver insufficiency or liver failure because no device or machine reliably performs all of the functions of the liver. This is possible because the liver is the only organ in the human body that is designed to regenerate and increase its size. When a part of a liver is transplanted to another body, it has the capacity to rebuild itself into its normal size within a few weeks.

Who needs Liver Transplant?

Patient suffering from acute or chronic liver failure which includes:

·Autoimmune Liver Disease.

·Viral Hepatitis-Hepatitis B and C.

·Vascular Liver Disease.

·Alcoholic Liver Disease.

·Metabolic Liver Disease-Non-alcoholic Steatohepatitis (NASH).

·Hepatocellular Carcinoma.

  • Gastrointestinal bleeding.
  • Fluid retention
  • Encephalopathy





What is the average wait time for a liver transplant?


An average waiting time for a liver transplant is 149 days for adults and 86 days for children. Being on the waiting list may predispose to anxiety and depression. It is found that one in four people waiting for a liver transplant have symptoms of moderate to severe depression.


 What is the most common reason for a liver transplant?

The most common indications for liver transplantation in the United States are hepatitis C virus (30%) and alcoholic liver disease (18%). Other indications include the following: Idiopathic/autoimmune liver disease (12%) and primary biliary cirrhosis (10%).


 Can you cut off part of your liver?

Liver donors provide part of the liver to a recipient. The livers of both the donor and recipient grow back to full size approximately three months after the surgery. There is no financial or medical benefit to donating a kidney or part of your liver, but helping another person live can be a very rewarding experience.


 What are the requirements to donate a liver?

  • Must be in good physical and mental health.
  • Must be between the ages of 18 and 60.
  • Must have a body mass index (BMI) that is less than 35.
  • Must have a compatible blood type with the recipient.


 What is the average life expectancy after a liver transplant?

The analysis showed that on average after reaching the critical six month period, survival time for liver transplant recipients was 22 years compared with 29 years for the general population. The life expectancy of male liver transplant recipients was 18 years compared with 26 years for women.


How successful is a liver transplant?


Liver transplant survival statistics- According to a study, people who have a liver transplant have an 89% percent chance of living after one year. The five-year survival rate is 75 percent. Sometimes the transplanted liver can fail, or the original disease may return.


Can you live a normal life after a liver transplant?


Liver transplant can have excellent outcomes. Recipients have been known to live a normal life over 30 years after the operation. They represent all patients transplanted, including the very old and the very young, those who were critically ill and those with less severe liver problems at the time of transplant.




List of tests include:

  • Blood and urine tests.
  • Ultrasound of the liver.
  • A cancer screening test.
  • Some tests to help assess the condition of the heart.

Once these tests are done, the surgeon provides the patient with a letter that enables him/her to be placed on a waiting list to get a liver from a matching deceased donor. You may also be able to discuss the option of getting a part of the liver from a blood-relative.

During Procedure

 Liver transplant procedure involves two or more surgeons along with a hepatologist, an anaesthesiologist and a group of paramedical support staff that includes transplant nurses.

Anaesthesia is given through an intravenous catheter; along with this, a tube is inserted into the lungs and connected to the ventilator. This helps the patient in the respiration process. Once anaesthesia is affected, incision is made across the abdomen for accessing the liver. At this point, the blood supply to the liver is disconnected and the procedure to remove the bile ducts begins.

The damaged liver is replaced with a new liver after which the blood vessels and the bile ducts are reattached. In case the transplant involves a living donor, the first portion of the liver is taken out from the donor and then transplanted in place of the damaged one. Upon

completion of the procedure, the incision is sutured and the patient is shifted into recovery and ICU for observation.


Post- Procedure

Post procedure, the patient is transferred to the ICU where his/her vitals such as blood pressure levels, pulse, respiratory rate, oxygen saturation and temperature.

  • Low grade fever
  • Nausea/vomiting.
  • Tiredness.
  • Swelling of the body.
  • Abdominal pain.
  • Bleeding from incision place.


The patient may have to undergo a few more blood tests to make sure that the post-surgery recovery is on right way. A few hours after surgery, the tube in the lungs is removed; the tubes in the throat and the urinary bladder are removed after a few days.

Patients are put on clear fluids followed by soft. Minor movements are recommended to the patients. Few medicines given to the patient are immune-suppressants and blood thinner.

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