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How To Evaluate If Liver Transplant Is Required By A Patient?

Written and reviewed by
Dr. Ankur Garg 90% (518 ratings)
M. Ch.(HPB Surgery & Liver Transplant), FEBS, MBBS, MS - General Surgery
Liver Transplant Surgeon, Mumbai  •  17 years experience
How To Evaluate If Liver Transplant Is Required By A Patient?

Liver is one of the most important organs of the living beings, which performs various functions to keep the body healthy and fit. In some people, the liver will be malfunctioning due to several reasons. So, in these technology days, it is possible for the transplanting it from a healthy person to the patient. Though it is possible but, this transplantation will not be successful for all which can be due to individual health conditions and the stage of liver failure. In order to determine whether a patient can go for the liver transplant or not there are several tests to consider.

Steps to undergo liver transplantation
Liver transplantation is not as simple as it is said, but there are several steps to consider before one thinks of this surgery. Some of the primary steps involved in the process of liver transplantation are:

  1. The first step is to visit the doctor and discuss about liver transplantation.
  2. Then as per the suggestion of the doctor visit the referred liver transplant centre.
  3. The patient is provided with the required information regarding liver transplant.
  4. In this course of time patient will meet several members of the transplant team.
  5. Next medical history of the patient is viewed and recommends some tests to determine the requirement of transplantation.
  6. Then the results of the tests say about the patient condition.
  7. After that, a donor is found out who can be either a living donor or deceased one.
  8. Once the donor is found, transplant centre asks the patient to be prepared for the transplantation.

Process of determining liver transplantation
Determining the requirement of liver transplantation is the most important step which is evaluated by the specialists only. These specialists will be from various fields to know whether it is highly essential or not. This evaluation will be based upon the medical history of the patient, in some of the cases interviewing or discussions with the patient and huge number of tests. All these will be conducted by a professional liver transplant team at the liver transplantation centre only. This team includes:

  1. Liver specialists are also known as Heptalogist
  2. Transplant coordinator
  3. Transplant surgeons
  4. Psychiatrist
  5. Financial coordinator
  6. Social worker
  7. Insurance manager
  8. Anesthesiologist
  9. Dietitian
  10. Chemical dependency specialist

Tests to evaluate the need of Liver Transplantation
Patients are required to present all their previous health records which include X-rays, liver biopsy slides along with the medications during the pre-evaluation of liver transplantation. The common tests that are performed to evaluate the necessity of liver transplantation include following:

  1. Computed tomography for generation of liver pictures
  2. Doppler ultrasound for checking blood vessels from and to the liver is in open condition.
  3. Echocardiogram for the evaluation of heart condition.
  4. Pulmonary function to determine the condition of lungs in respiration process.
  5. Blood test to check the type of blood, clotting ability along with the biochemical status of the blood.
  6. In some patients, AIDS along with Hepatitis are also included.

All the above tests along with the exams help in diagnosing if a patient needs liver transplantation depending upon the condition.
 

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