Liver Transplant

in Liver

Liver Transplant is the replacement of a diseased liver from the human body to make place for a new one obtained from a healthy donor. The most common reason for a liver transplant is cirrhosis, which is also known as chronic scarring of the liver. This condition results in blockage of the blood flow to liver, preventing the organ from performing its functions normally. Other than cirrhosis, a liver transplant can aid the treatment of hepatitis B and C, bile duct diseases and an initial stage of cancer in the organ.

There are several steps that one needs to follow before getting an approval for liver transplant. The most important of these is to qualify for the criteria of liver transplant. Patients are required to undergo a series of tests including x-rays, urine examination, body scan and an analysis of the blood. The observations made during the tests will help doctors to pass a judgment on your fitness for the transplant. Even if an approval is given in this situation, a patient may have to wait for days and at times even weeks before the responsible organ sharing organization in your country finds a perfect match for your liver. Once a match has been found, patients are admitted to the hospital for a surgery.

The procedure of liver transplant begins with enema. Enema is a process of introducing liquids in the rectum for a through clean up of the intestines. Post this, the patient is provided a general anesthesia. A surgeon then makes an incision on the upper region of abdomen to access the liver. Upon reaching there, four blood vessels connected with the diseased liver are cut and closed momentarily. This allows the surgical team to remove the liver. When a healthy portion of liver from the donor is ready for a transplant, the surgeon will place it in the position of the old one and re-connect the blood vessels to it.

The duration of a liver transplant is seven to eight hours. After the surgery, a patient is transferred to the intensive care unit and monitored closely. In this period, a patient may require a wind pipe to breathe, till he/she regains enough strength to do this without any support. One may have to participate in numerous therapies to allow the body to recover. In fact, it may take 12-14 days in a hospital for a patient to re-acquire physical fitness and obtain the permission to be relieved.

Complete recovery from a liver transplant may consume a significant amount of time and a patient would be fit to return to work only after a span of 4-6 months. Doctors may advise patients to adopt several measures including necessary changes in the diet. In almost all cases of liver transplant, a patient is suggested to take immunosuppressive drugs throughout life so that the body’s immunity system does not reject the new liver and causes its destruction.

The most prominent risk involved in a liver transplant is the rejection of the new liver by the receiver’s body leading to another surgery on a similar basis.

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This article was published on 2011/09/26