Liver transplant surgery is the only viable cure for end-stage liver diseases and liver failure. It’s been decades that surgeons have been performing liver transplant surgeries to help liver patients in leading totally normal lives.
Read on to know some facts about liver transplant, the need for it, donors, survival rate and the cost of liver transplant at different centres.
- Need for liver transplant: Liver transplant is required to treat severe liver diseases such as cirrhosis of liver. In most cases doctors only recommend liver transplant when your liver loses 80-90% of its functionality or suffers permanent damage.
- To know if a patient needs to undergo liver transplant surgery, the top liver transplant surgeon in India evaluates you through a variety of tests and by analysing your medical history.
- You cannot undergo a liver transplant surgery if you have cancer or any serious heart or nerve disease. Patients with active alcohol or drug abuse are also not eligible for transplant.
- Act regulating transplants: Though liver transplant is legal in India, the Transplantation of Human Organs Act (Act No. 42, 1994) prevents hospitals or doctors from commercial dealing in human organs and also provides certain regulations for the removal, storage and transplantation of organs for treatment purposes.
According to this act, the donor cannot be below 18 years of age and must agree voluntarily to donate his liver. Also, the donor has to be a close relative in case of living donor liver transplant.
- MELD and PELD scores: When you are recommended a liver transplant, you will be put in a waiting list among other patients waiting for a donor. Patients are given priority based on their MELD score, which is determined after three simple tests – creatinine, bilirubin and INR.
For children, PELD (Pediatric End Stage Liver Disease) score is considered.
Patients with highest scores are transplanted first.
- Donated liver: The new liver may come from any of the two sources – living donor or deceased donor.
Since liver has the capability to regenerate, even living donors can donate a part of their liver to save their loved ones. Their liver would regrow to its normal size in a few weeks.
If the doctor has recommended liver transplant surgery to you or to any of your loved ones, knowing these facts will help you prepare for the surgery in a better way. Wish you or your family member a normal, healthy life!