Liver transplantation is surgery to remove a diseased liver and replace it with a healthy liver from donor. Many people have had liver transplants and now lead normal lives. A liver transplant is necessary when disease makes the liver stop working. The most common reason for liver transplant in adults is cirrhosis, a disease in which healthy liver cells are killed and replaced with scar tissues. Cirrhosis is not reversible and leads to end stage liver disease.
There have been over 60 different liver diseases treated with liver transplantation. However, there are several conditions that are more commonly treated with this procedure.
INDICATIONS FOR LIVER TRANSPLANT INCLUDE:
1. Hepatitis B
2. Hepatitis C
4. Liver tumors/ Hepatocellular Carcinoma
5. Autoimmune Hepatitis
6. Acute/fulminant liver failure
7. Errors in Metabolism
Where does the donor liver come from?
There are two sources of the donor liver.
This liver is provided by voluntary donation by the family of a person who is brain dead in an ICU of a hospital. Brain death can occur in a person due to fatal head injury from an accident or severe brain hemorrhage or irreversible brain damage from other reasons. His/her other organs can be kept intact by life support systems for a few days. If the family of such a person agrees, organs such as the liver, kidneys, heart, lungs, pancreas and corneas can be removed upon discontinuance of life support systems, and can be used to save lives of many critically ill patients on the transplant list.
Portion of liver from a living person:
Living donor liver transplantation is a recent concept in which a living person can donate a part of his/her liver to save the life of an individual dying from liver failure. The amount of liver removed from the donor depends on the weight of the recipient - heavier the recipient, larger the portion of liver required. However, the liver has a lot of reserve whereby only 20-30% of normal liver is enough to sustain life. To ensure donor safety, liver surgeons always leave behind at least 30% liver in the donor. The liver also has a unique capacity to regenerate whereby it regains its full size in both the donor and the recipient within 6-8 weeks
BASIS OF A LIVER TRANSPLANT
It has been now scientifically proven through various studies that even 75% of liver can be safely removed without any untoward consequences because of this capacity of regeneration. The remaining liver rapidly grows and restores the full functional capacity required for the normal functioning of the body