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Liver Transplant Unit

The Liver Transplant Unit at the Centre for Hepato-Pancreatic Biliary Diseases is a dedicated unit providing the most comprehensive care to patients suffering from advanced liver disease or end-stage liver disease (ESLD). The unit is equipped with state-of-the-art facilities offering advanced diagnostic and therapeutic services to design a seamlessly integrated, patient-centric treatment plan.

Our multidisciplinary team of highly trained transplant surgeons, hepatologists, radiologists, pathologists, intensivists, anaesthetists, technicians, specialised nurses strives to deliver high-quality, compassionate care according to a patient’s unique medical needs.

We have a dedicated ultra-modern ICU that aims to reduce the risk of infection to the minimum, with a separate AHU for each bed. We also have an advanced operating theatre equipped with the latest technology and offer a comfortable environment to patients requiring a liver transplant.

Our unit delivers the most compassionate care with comprehensive pre and post-liver transplant management. We offer both living and deceased donor transplant with access to the newest medications and technologies.

What is a Liver Transplant?

Liver is one of the largest internal organs in human body that performs many vital functions. It helps in detoxifying various metabolites, produces biochemical and synthesizes proteins necessary for digestion. Many end-stage liver diseases can affect the functioning of the liver which may lead to liver failure. A surgeon performs a liver transplant surgery to prevent a patient's life from liver failure. The surgery involves the removal of a non-functioning liver and replacing it with a healthy liver from another person or donor. A donor can be a healthy living person ready to donate part of his/her liver or a deceased donor.

  • Deceased Donor (Cadaver): An unfortunate person who has suffered an irreversible brain injury/ brain death.
  • Living Donor: A healthy family member or someone else whose blood type is a good match is considered as a living donor.

What are the Various Indications for Liver Transplant?

A liver transplant is an option for people suffering from liver failure due to end-stage liver disease (ESLD) such as:

  • Acute Liver Failure

Also termed as fulminant hepatic failure is a condition that occurs when a healthy person’s liver suffers from a massive injury that results in signs and symptoms of liver insufficiency.

  • Chronic End-Stage Liver Disease/Cirrhosis

It is a condition that generates due to repeated injury to the liver for many years. In such conditions, the liver loses its tendency of repairing itself and the disease is termed as an end-stage liver diseases. The only cure to such condition is a liver transplant.

The common causes that lead to such conditions of liver failure include:

  • Accumulation of fat in the liver, Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH)
  • Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency
  • Chronic alcohol abuse
  • Chronic viral hepatitis (hepatitis B, C and D)
  • Copper accumulated in the liver (Wilson's disease)
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Destruction of the bile ducts (primary biliary cirrhosis)
  • Genetic digestive disorder (Alagille syndrome)
  • Infection, such as
    • Syphilis
    • Brucellosis
  • Inherited disorders of sugar metabolism
    • Galactosemia
    • Glycogen storage disease
  • Iron buildup in the body (hemochromatosis)
  • Liver disease caused by your body's immune system (autoimmune hepatitis)
  • Medications
    • Methotrexate
    • Isoniazid
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Poorly formed bile ducts (biliary atresia)
  • Scarring and hardening of the bile ducts (primary sclerosing cholangitis)
  • Severe Obesity

Are you a Candidate for a Liver Transplant?

Our team of highly experienced doctors evaluate a patient’s overall medical condition to know if he/she is fit for a liver transplant or not. The need for liver transplant occurs if a patient experiences conditions such as:

  • Abdominal swelling due to Ascites
  • Altered Sensorium
  • Blood in Stools (Black colour stool)
  • Blood in Vomit
  • Hepato- Cellular Cancer
  • Kidney injury due to liver diseases

What are the Various Diagnostic Tests Required Before Liver Transplant?

Before recommending a liver transplant, a doctor must evaluate a patient’s medical condition based on some diagnostic tests. The results of these tests help our team of doctors to create a patient-centric treatment plan that offers an effective solution. Some of the major diagnostic services we offer include:

  • Imaging tests:
    • Computed Tomography (CT) scan of abdomen/pelvis
    • Electrocardiogram/Chest X-ray
    • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) of abdomen/pelvis
    • Ultrasound of abdomen/pelvis
  • Dobutamine Stress Echocardiogram (DSE)
  • Other Blood tests

What is the Procedure for Liver Transplant?

Liver Transplant Preoperative Details

A doctor prepares a patient for liver transplant surgery by prescribing some medicines a week or two before the surgery to avoid any sort of complications during or after the surgery.

Liver Transplant Operative Details

The liver transplantation procedure consists of three different operations which are as follows.

OPERATIONS

  1. Donor Operation: Harvesting the Liver from the donor

It is the first operation of the liver transplant procedure which involves the harvesting of liver from a donor. This harvested liver is then replaced with the diseased liver of the patient. Liver harvesting can be done from two different types of donors:

  • Deceased Donor (Cadaver): An unfortunate person who has suffered an irreversible brain injury/ brain death.
  • Living Donor: A healthy family member or someone else whose blood type is a good match with a living donor.

After harvesting the liver from a donor, our team of doctors aims at keeping the organ in working condition with the help of life support" devices and medication. The organ is kept alive using ice and special solution until it is used for transplant. In case of liver, it is advisable to transplant it within six hours of its removal.

  1. Recipient Operation: Removing the recipient's damaged Liver

It is the second operation that involves the surgical removal of diseased/damaged liver from a patient’s body by making a curved incision in the upper part of a patient’s abdomen.

  1. Implantation of the donor’s liver into the recipient

It is the third and final operation that involves replacing the patient’s liver with the donor’s liver. After the transplant, the doctor connects the suture (stitch) of the new liver to the patient’s blood vessels and bile ducts.

What to Expect After Surgery?

A patient has to spend 5 to 8 days in the intensive care unit for monitoring purpose. And another 5-10 days for the recovery following which, a patient is fit for discharge. Following surgery, within 4-6 weeks a patient can resume his/her daily activities. Most people remain symptom-free and feel better, however, they have to take certain precautions and medication for a lifetime to improve their quality of life.

What are the Precautions One Must Take After the Liver Transplant?

A patient must strictly follow some precautions after the liver transplant:

  • Drinking alcohol is strictly prohibited for patients suffering from liver diseases or have undergone Liver Transplant.
  • Eat healthy meals full of green fruits and vegetables and reduce the intake of fried and junk food.
  • Maintain a healthy body weight/BMI.
  • Take the prescribed medicines on time.
  • Go for regular checkups with your concerned doctor.
  • Exercise to stay fit like brisk walking and stretching.

What is the success rate of the surgery?

The success rate of the surgery remains around 90% and might come with certain complications which happen in around 10-15% of the cases.

Find Complete Relief from Nanavati Experts

If you think you are facing similar conditions, or have suffered from them in the past, please contact the Nanavati team to schedule an appointment at : +91 22 2626 7500

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