KNOW THE FACTS ABOUT LIVER TRANSPLANT
What is Liver Transplant?
Liver transplant is a process of replacing sick liver with a donated liver that is healthy.
Who needs a Liver transplant?
When a persons liver fail to perform its regular functions and there is no hope for liver to recover its functions with medical treatment, liver transplant is suggested by doctors. The most common indication that a patient needs transplant is if that patient has developed liver cirrhosis.
The common causes of liver cirrhosis:
- Chronic Hepatitis B
- Chronic Hepatitis C
- Fatty Liver Disease (NASH)
- Alcoholic Liver disease
- Genetic Diseases
- Autoimmune diseases
Liver transplants are also done for treatment of liver cancer, acute liver failure and certain bile duct diseases.
What are the results of liver transplantation?
Post successful liver transplant most patients are back to normal lifestyle within 6months to 1 year’s time. Eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and taking recommended medications are important factors to staying healthy. Post transplant around 90% patients are alive upto 1 year and about 75% patient stays alive about 5 years after the transplant.
What are Symptoms of Advance liver disease or live cirrhosis?
People with advance liver disease or liver cirrhosis shows below symptoms:
- Dark tea colored urine
- Vomiting blood
- Tendency to bleed
- Encephalopathy – mental confusion or forgetfulness
What are the different types of Live transplant?
All the donated livers are first tested before transplant surgery. The testing makes sure the donor liver matches the blood type and is right size.
There are types of liver transplant which are as follows:
- Cadaveric Liver Transplantation or Deceased Donor liver transplantation: The liver transplant carried out using liver from dead person
- Living Donor liver transplant: Liver donated by living persons for specific patient
- Spilt Liver Transplantation: Adults usually receives the complete liver from the deceased person. There are some cases where a portion of liver from deceased person is used to fit in smaller person. This is called Spilt liver transplantation. There are cases where the liver from deceased person is split in 2 parts the larger liver goes to adult and smaller to a child.
Many a times healthy person donates part of his/her liver to a patient usually a family member. This type of donor is called living donor. The donor has to undergo abdominal surgery to remove a part of liver transplanted to the patient. It will be 50% of the recipient’s current liver size. Within 6-8 weeks, both the donated pieces of liver and the remaining part in the donor grow to normal size.
Who will evaluate a patient for Liver Transplant?
If a liver transplant is recommended a team of doctors from Integrated Liver Care will evaluate the transplant patient. The ILC team consists of a transplant coordinator, a hepatologist (liver specialist), transplant surgeons, dietician, physiotherapist and social worker. You can contact Dr. Kaiser a liver specialist in Dubai who is a member of ILC evaluation team.
A social worker assesses and helps develop the patient’s support system, a central group of people on whom the patient can depend throughout the transplantation process. A positive support group is very important to a successful outcome. The social worker also checks to see that the recipient is taking medications appropriately.
On completion of evaluation, the ILC team discusses the case in a multidisciplinary meeting and takes a decision on whether the recipient is suitable for a transplant.
How long will one have to stay in hospital post-transplant?
The average hospital stay post liver transplant is 1-3 weeks. The patients must follow up for 3 months post discharge.
What are the Medication one needs to take post Liver Transplant?
The patient will be prescribed with immune-suppression drugs for rest of his/her life to avoid rejection of new liver. The patients will also be prescribed with vitamin, calcium and other supplements.
What are the common complications post Liver Transplant?
The common complications post liver transplant are as follows:
- Acute rejection. Most rejection happens while you are still in the hospital, but it can happen at any time. Rejection can be treated with drugs. The patient may need a liver biopsy.
- Recurrence of liver disease. The diseases that damaged your liver in the first place may come back in the new liver. The disease can often be treated easily, but sometimes a second transplant is needed.
- People who have organ transplants are at a higher risk for some cancers, especially skin cancer. These cancers may spread faster than they do in people without transplants. Because of this, the patient will need to get screened for cancer.
- Medical complications. Transplant patients can get infections, high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, thinning of the bones, and become obese.