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Liver Transplant Surgery - Situations Where Is It Required!

Written and reviewed by
M. Ch.(HPB Surgery & Liver Transplant), FEBS, MBBS, MS - General Surgery
Liver Transplant Surgeon, Faridabad  •  19years experience
Liver Transplant Surgery - Situations Where Is It Required!

A liver transplant surgery is a procedure by the virtue of which the doctors remove the liver in that cases where it becomes non-functional or does not function appropriately. In this process, the malfunctioning liver is substituted with the healthy liver obtained from a living donor.

Liver transplant surgery has been performed in the medicine for more than 30 years and it has been observed that this surgery is successful and the patients who undergo liver transplant are able to live healthy lives. Liver transplant is usually performed in the cases where the liver failure could not be treated by other alternative medical treatments available and cancerous conditions. There can be either acute liver failure or chronic liver failure. The Liver transplantation is more often performed in order to treat the chronic ailments.

In Adults

  1. In the cases of adults, one of the major causes of getting liver transplantation done is liver cirrhosis. Cirrhosis is a medical condition where there is a gradual deterioration of liver and severe chronic illness may lead to malfunctioning of the liver.
  2. The blood flow across the liver can be blocked due to the dominance of the scar tissue over healthy tissue.
  3. There can also be other reasons for cirrhosis which include the attack of viruses like hepatitis B and C, the alcoholic liver disease due to excess intake of alcohol, increase in the fat proportion in the liver, Autoimmune disorders of liver or you can say, hereditary diseases such as hemochromatosis and Wilson’s disease.
  4. When the alcohol intake increases rapidly, then the patients do need a liver transplant but if the person controls the intake of alcohol, then improvements can be observed significantly and the patients may even survive for a long time even without getting the transplant done. But in certain cases, even after abstaining from alcohol, the damage is untreatable and healthy liver tissue cannot be restored, in such cases, liver transplant becomes a compulsion.

In children

  1. In the case of children, biliary atresia is the most prominent reason for the liver transplant surgery. It is a very rare condition wherein the bile duct that connect the liver and the small intestine is either blocked or absent in newborn babies. Hence, the function of bile ducts, i.e. removal of bile juice from the liver gets hampered and obstructed bile leads to cirrhosis. The digestion of the food could not be carried out properly.
  2. There can be several other reasons for liver transplantation such as the cancer in the liver or benign tumors that can be present in the liver. When a patient suffers from liver cirrhosis, the chances of acquiring the primary cancer increase by multiple times. The likelihood increases furthermore in those patients who have liver disorders along with hepatitis B. Mostly, after liver transplant surgery, patients are able to live their life normally, but if the cancer starts spreading to other body parts from the liver, then liver transplantation is not the solution.
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