The liver is a vital organ that filters the blood coming from the digestive tract before passing through the rest of the body. It is an essential organ that performs a life-sustaining function, so a human cannot live without a liver. A liver transplant is the only option to cure liver failure because no other technology like a dialysis machine can replicate liver function. A liver transplant is recommend only when the liver failure or in the end-stage of liver disease. Here are some effective information about liver transplant surgery and its type.
Causes for liver damage
The liver could be gradually damaged due to illness, alcohol and infection, which drives the liver scarred, known as cirrhosis. There are some main causes of liver damage and cirrhosis, such as
- Alcohol-related liver disease(ARLD).
- Primary Sclerosing cholangitis(PSC)
- Hepatitis – blood-borne viruses.
Who is the right recipient?
There are so many assessment tests for the liver transplant to avoid risks, as the donated livers are scarce. In India, you are usually considered a suitable candidate if you meet these conditions:
- Without a liver transplant, your expected life span would be shorter than normal, or your quality of life is so impoverished as to be intolerable.
- If you would get a chance of surviving for at least five years after your transplant with an acceptable quality of life.
People who meet these criteria will be eligible for a transplant. However, a few situations may be consider unsuitable for a transplant. For instance, you may have liver cancer that has a threat of spreading beyond the liver, or you are unable to stop misusing alcohol.
Types of liver transplant
A liver transplant is a surgery perform to remove the damaged or diseased liver with a healthy one from a donor. The different types of liver transplants follow.
Deceased organ donation or orthotopic transplant
It is the most common type of liver transplant in India. When the donor dies recently, the whole liver is transplant to the recipient. This was usually when the donor pledged their organ for the donation before the death, and also, they shouldn’t have any transmissible disease or cancer transmitted to the recipient. In this surgery, the surgeon will completely remove the whole diseased liver from the recipient to replace it with the healthy one. And rejoin the bile ducts and blood vessels in the same position.
Split type of liver transplant
The majority of liver transplantations are transplant as a whole organ. Nearly 1 in 10 donated liver can be split into two grafts or segments, known as a split liver transplant. This is consider for splitting only when the donated liver is from a younger, slimmer, healthier deceased donor.
Splitting the donated liver into two will help two people waiting for the liver transplant.
Usually, the smaller left side lobe of the liver is transmitted into a child, and the bigger right side lobe of the liver is transmitted into an adult of appropriate weight and height. Split transplantation is an efficient way to maximize the usage of the donated organ.
Living donor transplant
In this type of transplant, the surgeon will operate on the donor to remove either their liver’s right or left side lobe. Here the donor is a willing living person ready to donate their organ. In a living donor transplant, the diseased liver will get completely remove and replace with the part of the liver taken out from the donor. The connection is made with blood vessel and bile duct as in an orthotopic transplant.
In the following transplantation, both the recipient’s transplanted and donated liver lobes and the donor will start to grow back. The new lobe will usually grow to 85% of the original liver size within a week in the recipient. The right lobe is suitable for adults because of its bigger size, while the left lobe is suitable for children because of its smaller size.
Auxiliary liver transplantation:
Auxiliary liver transplantation is different transplantation where the recipient’s liver is not completely remove from his body. It may be useful for spontaneous recovery or future gene therapy in hereditary or metabolic liver diseases except when there is a risk of cancer in the residual liver.
Benefits of liver transplant surgery
Liver transplant in India is generally good at a long-term outlook. 9 out of 10 people are still alive after one year, around 8 in every ten people live up to 5 years, and many live up to 20 years or more after the transplantation. Some benefits of liver transplant surgery are
- Most people live longer and enjoy a better quality of life
- The chance of dying from liver disease is less
- Many people say that they have extra energy
- Patients are more likely to return to their normal activities
Liver transplants are practically safe procedures with the best survival rates. The operation generally helps save or extend the lives of people with severe liver damage. However, many factors can influence an individual’s successful transplantation and decide how long they live after the surgery. These factors influence their overall health and lifestyle habits. As far as they take immunosuppressant drugs, as prescribed for them and have a better lifestyle, they can enjoy a good quality of life for years after liver transplantation.
Wrapping it up
By now, you might get to know about liver transplants and their benefits. A liver transplant is completely safe and offers many benefits for the patients, so without any worries, you can move forward with it.