Liver Transplantation is a surgical procedure that involves removing a diseased liver and replacing it with either the healthy liver of a deceased donor or a portion of the healthy liver of a living donor. A liver transplant is usually reserved for people suffering from severe complications resulting from end-stage chronic liver disease. In rare cases of sudden liver failure, liver transplantation may also be an option.
Who Performs Liver Transplant?
A Transplant Surgeon who specializes in liver transplant surgery performs liver transplants.
Types of Liver Transplant?
- Orthotopic Transplant: It is the most common type of liver transplantation. A recently deceased donor's entire liver is taken. This is usually from a donor who has agreed to donate their organs before death and has no communicable diseases or cancers that could be passed on to the recipient.
- Living Donor Transplant: The term "living donor transplant" refers to a procedure in which the donor is a willing living person. In the first operation, the surgeon removes either the left or right side (lobe) of the donor's liver.
- Split type of Liver Transplant: A split donation is when a liver from a recently deceased person is transplanted into two people. If the next two suitable recipients are an adult and a child, this is possible. The left and right lobes of the donated liver will be separated. The larger right lobe is usually given to the adult, while the smaller left lobe is given to the child.
- Auxiliary Liver Transplantation: It does not entirely remove the recipient's liver. Its goal is to keep the native liver in case of spontaneous recovery or if future gene therapy for hereditary or metabolic liver diseases is possible.
Preparations Before Liver Transplant?
- The procedure will be told to you by the healthcare provider. Any questions you have about the surgery can be asked of them.
- You'll be asked to sign a consent form permitting the surgery to be performed. If anything is unclear, you can ask questions.
- You should not eat for 8 hours before the surgery if you are having a planned living transplant. This usually entails no food or drink after midnight. You should not eat or drink once you've been told a liver is available if it came from a recently deceased donor.
- Before the surgery, you may be given a sedative to help you relax.
How Long Does Liver Transplant Take?
Transplanting the liver usually takes 6 to 12 hours. During the procedure, your liver will be removed and replaced with a donor's liver.
Risks Associated With Liver Transplant?
Risks associated with Liver Transplant include:
- Bile duct complications, including leaking bile ducts or bile duct shrinkage
- Blood clots
- Failure of a donated liver
- Mental confusion or seizures
- Rejection of donated liver
- There is also the possibility that the transplanted liver will recur with liver disease in the long term.
You will take medications for the rest of your life to keep your body from rejecting the donated liver after a liver transplant. These anti-rejection drugs can have several adverse side effects, including:
- Bone thinning
- High blood pressure
- increased risk of infection
- High cholesterol