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Liver Transplant - Common FAQs You Need To Be Aware Of!

Written and reviewed by
M. Ch.(HPB Surgery & Liver Transplant), FEBS, MBBS, MS - General Surgery
Liver Transplant Surgeon, Mumbai  •  19years experience
Liver Transplant - Common FAQs You Need To Be Aware Of!

While undergoing a liver transplantation surgery, there are multiple questions that can come to your mind. It is surely a life-changing step to decide whether one should undergo liver transplantation surgery. Some of the frequently asked questions related to liver transplantation are as following?

When is liver transplant required?
A person who is suffering from the severe liver disorder which is either an acute or chronic onset and whose treatment is not possible. Those people who are suffering from advanced liver diseases such as infections caused due to Hepatitis viruses or excess alcohol intake requires liver transplantation. Those children who suffer from biliary atresia require liver transplantation. Primary liver cancer patients also need liver transplant surgery.

What are the various symptoms of any liver disease?
When the liver disease is very mild or moderate, one could not see any symptoms. But when the severity of the disease increases, the problems like swelling in ankles, water in the abdomen occurs due to retention of water. A person feels lethargic, jaundice, blood vomiting, certain changes in behavioural patterns, recurrent infections in the abdominal region are observed.
When such patients undergo blood tests, then reporting of low blood cell count, low amount of serum albumin protein, elevated levels of serum Bilirubin like variations are present.

How is liver transplant done?
Firstly, you have to contact a transplant centre wherein your blood tests and urine tests are performed so as to check whether you are eligible to tolerate this surgical procedure. If you meet the eligibility requirements, then you are put on the waiting list and in the meantime, one look for a suitable donor. After a donor is found, then the liver replacement surgery begins.

Is liver donation a safe option?
Yes. Surely, the liver donation is quite a safe thing as the liver has the capacity to regenerate itself and reach to the normal volume within 2-3 months after a part of it has been removed. No long-term effects can be seen; any medications have to be continued for a long period of time (merely 2-3 weeks). After 3 months, the donor can carry out all the physical activities like before.

How successful is the liver transplantation?
The success of any liver transplantation surgery depends upon the expertise of medical professionals at a particular area. In renowned places, 90% of the patients undergo successful liver transplantation with healthy living and good quality of life.

Who can donate their liver?
Usually, the donor is a close acquaintance of the patient, a family member or a friend whose age can be in the range of 18-55 years. The blood group of the patient and the donor should match and the weight of the doner should not exceed 90 kg.

Is it necessary to take medicines for a long period of time post liver transplant surgery?
Yes. But the amount of medicines decreases along with time. Usually, 1-2 medicines have to be taken for a year or two. And after several years, only a single medicine continues.

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