Those who need a liver transplant surgery are patients who terminally ill and have no other options for therapy. They could have liver cancer, acute liver failure, or end-stage liver disease.
The excision of any damaged sections of the recipient’s liver is followed by replacing a healthy liver section with a living donor. Due to its regenerative ability, the transplanted liver will grow back to its original size in 1-8 weeks. However, this might be a difficult task if you don’t plan ahead of time.
What is Liver Transplant?
A liver transplant is a surgery that replaces a failing liver with a healthy one from someone else’s body. You can either receive a whole liver or a portion of a liver from a recently deceased donor.
How to prepare for a liver transplant?
Get all your pre-surgery tests
A doctor will recommend a liver transplant operation if your diseased liver needs to be replaced in part or whole with a healthy liver from a donor.
Various test will be recommended by the Doctors before transplant. These tests will check your overall health and liver function. Some common tests are listed below.
- Blood & Urine
- ECHO CARDIAC
- Mammograms and Pap smears are two types of tests used to detect cancer.
Don’t take any medicine without a prescription:
Refraining from taking any medications or supplements for a week before your procedure (unless explicitly prescribed by your doctor) is critical. Unless otherwise directed, do not take pain relievers. Also, medicines like aspirin, ibuprofen (NSAIDs), and birth control pills can impair your body’s capacity to clot blood.
Be active and follow a healthy diet:
In the weeks following your operation, you can speed up your recovery time by eating well and staying active. This will strengthen your immunity and aid in defense of your body against any infections that may arise following surgery.
Healthy pre-surgery diet is important for patient because a sick liver can make the patient weak. To reduce fluid retention and keep your blood pressure in check, eat the proper quantity of proteins and cut back on sodium sources.
Plan for surgery and recovery:
To avoid nausea during and after surgery, avoid eating solid foods for at least 12 hours before the procedure. Please ensure all paperwork and formalities are completed and that you have emergency blood and medicines on hand in case you need them.
Recovery after surgery should be an important part of your overall strategy. The family or friends will assist you through this crucial period of rehabilitation and manage your affairs at work or home while you are gone.
This type of surgery may necessitate you being under medical observation for up to a week. As a result, you will need to make plans for your support groups.
Procedure of Liver Transplant Surgery
Before the procedure
Doctors will assess the severity of your condition, the urgency with which you require a transplant, and your position on the liver transplant waiting list based on your liver function tests and other variables.
- Waiting for new liver: The time it takes to find a donor’s liver varies substantially. Some people have to wait days, months, or even years for a deceased-donor liver, while others may never receive one. While waiting for a replacement liver, your doctor will manage your liver failure problems to keep you as comfortable as possible.
- Living liver donor: Living donors account for only a small percentage of liver transplants performed yearly. Living-donor liver transplants are a viable alternative to waiting for a deceased-donor liver and allow the organ recipient to avoid the health risks associated with the transplant remaining. Surgeons transplant a small bit of a healthy, alive person’s liver in certain circumstances.
During the procedure:
You will be asked to come to the hospital immediately if you are told that a liver from a deceased donor is available. You will be admitted to the hospital and examined to ensure that you are healthy enough for surgery.
You will be sleep-like during liver transplant surgery because it is performed under a general anesthetic. The transplant surgeon makes a large incision across your stomach to access your liver.
Your incision will have different sizes and locations depending on your surgeon’s approach and anatomy. The surgeon replaces your liver with a donor’s liver, connecting your blood vessels and bile ducts to the donor’s liver. Depending on your situation, surgery can take up to 12 hours.
After the procedure:
- Possibly stay in the intensive care unit for a few days: Doctors and nurses will keep an eye on you for any signs of difficulties. They will also check your liver function regularly to see if your new liver is functioning properly.
- Spend 5 to 10 days in the hospital: You will be transferred to a transplant recovery area after you are stable.
- Have frequency checkups as you continue recovering at home: A checkup schedule is created for you by your transplant team. Blood tests may be done several times each week at first, then less frequently as time goes on.
- Follow recommended: A patient will be prescribed various drugs by doctors after your liver transplant. For the rest of your life, you’ll have to take a lot of them. Immunosuppressants are medications that prevent your immune system from attacking your newly transplanted liver. Other drugs can help you avoid issues following your transplant.
Wrapping it up:
One of your numerous important organs is the liver. It has no medicinal or mechanical equivalent because it conducts so many complicated activities. When your liver starts to goes weak or fail, you need to consult the doctor for proper preparation and procedure of liver transplantation.
India would be ideal destination for liver transplant surgery, because not only Indian hospitals provide best class treatment at affordable price but also liver transplant success rate in India is quite high.