Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Some Facts on Liver Transplant Surgery & Procedure You Should Know

  Tim       Wednesday, July 17, 2019
Liver transplantation is done through surgery by replacing the damaged liver with the whole or part of the healthy liver obtained from another person who is a donor.  As the liver can regenerate, the transplanted segment of the liver will grow and come to normal size within a few weeks.

Symptoms of Liver Disease:

The patients suffering from liver disease will have the following symptoms:

  •         Jaundice – yellowing of the skin or eyes
  •         Dark tea-colored urine
  •         Itching
  •         Gray or colored bowel movements
  •         Blood vomiting
  •         When there is a fluid build-up in the abdomen (Ascites)
  •         Blood in the stool
  •         Mental confusion, forgetfulness
  •         Tendency to bleed
In case of any of the symptoms, it is better to consult a liver transplant surgeon.

Who needs liver transplantation?

The persons with the following symptoms require liver transplantation:

  •         Chronic Hepatitis C
  •         Cholangitis
  •         Primary liver cancer

Cholangitis is caused by several other diseases such as:
  •      Hepatitis B as well as autoimmune hepatitis.
  •      NASH or nonalcoholic steatohepatitis which caused due to the build-up of fat in the liver which causes inflammation and also damages liver cells.
  •      Genetic conditions that are inclusive of Wilson disease where copper gets deposited in higher levels and iron build-up in the liver due to hemochromatosis.
  •      Bile ducts diseases. Bile ducts transport the digestive liquid called bile to the small intestine.

These days, liver transplant in India has become very common and many leading hospitals provide such treatment.


Risks that are associated with the procedure are:

  •          Complications in the bile duct which includes leaks or shrinking of the bile ducts
  •          Blood clots
  •          Bleeding
  •          Failure of the donated liver
  •          Rejection of donated liver
  •          Infection
  •          Mental confusion or seizures

Liver transplantation surgery: 

The surgeon will do an upside-down Y shaped incision on the belly and will drain the blood through a bulb-shaped drain that is placed near the incision and also collect the fluid from the liver. These are known as Jackson-Pratt drains and it will be there until the drainage decreases significantly. A T-shaped tube will be placed near the bile duct to allow it to drain outside the body where the bile bag is attached to it. This will vary from deep gold to dark green and the amount produced is measured frequently. The tube will be in place for three months. Bile production immediately after the surgery is a good symptom and the indicators for the surgeons to determine liver transplant accepted by the patient’s body.

Once the surgery is over patient will be taken to the intensive care unit where he will be monitored very closely with the help of machines. The patient will be put on a respirator which will help in breathing for the patient and will have a tube in the trachea bringing oxygen to the lungs. Once the patient becomes normal and can breathe well, it will be removed. Several blood tests, ECGs and X-ray films will be done. The patient might be provided with blood transfusions. When the patient becomes normal, he will be transferred out of the intensive care unit. But still, he will be monitored with some devices for some days until he goes home. The patient might have to stay for two weeks.

The patient will return to normal from near normal activities 6-12 months following the transplantation. During the first year, the patient might have to visit the liver transplant surgeon or the doctor concerned frequently.

Thus, liver transplant in India has become quite common with the leading hospitals and also done in a highly professional manner.


Thanks for reading Some Facts on Liver Transplant Surgery & Procedure You Should Know

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