Liver Transplantation: An Overview - ACIBADEM
Liver Transplantation: An Overview

Liver Transplantation: An Overview

Liver transplantation is a surgical procedure. A diseased liver is replaced with a healthy liver from a donor. This life-saving surgery is often a last resort for patients with severe liver disease.  These patients have not responded to other treatments. The liver is an important organ that performs many vital functions. The liver is responsible for detoxification, protein synthesis, and the production of chemicals necessary for digestion.

Conditions Treated by Liver Transplantation

Liver transplants are used to treat several liver diseases, including

  • Chronic Liver Cirrhosis: Often caused by hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and chronic alcohol abuse, cirrhosis involves the scarring of liver tissue.
  • Acute Liver Failure: A sudden loss of liver function due to factors such as viral hepatitis, drug-induced injury, or autoimmune disease.
  • Liver Cancer: Especially hepatocellular carcinoma, which may not be controlled by other treatments.
  • Genetic Liver Diseases: Conditions such as Wilson’s disease or hemochromatosis that cause liver damage.

Liver Transplant Procedure

The liver transplant process involves several critical steps:

Evaluation: Comprehensive evaluation to ensure that the patient is a suitable candidate. It includes blood tests, imaging studies, and psychological evaluation.

Donor Matching: Identifying a suitable donor liver, which may be from a deceased or living donor.

Surgery: Transplant surgery typically takes 6-12 hours. The diseased liver is removed and replaced with the donor liver.

Post-Operative Care: Intensive monitoring to manage complications and ensure that the new liver is functioning properly.

Criteria for Liver Transplantation

Candidates for liver transplantation must meet certain criteria to be considered for the procedure. The severity of liver disease is often determined by the Model for End-Stage Liver Disease (MELD) score. The patient must be in good general health to withstand the surgery and subsequent recovery. An essential requirement is the absence of alcohol or drug abuse. Patients are required to abstain from these substances for a specified period before consideration. Finally, a strong support system is essential for effective post-transplant care and recovery.

Preparing for Liver Transplantation

Preparing for a liver transplant involves several steps:

  • Medical preparations: Routine physical exams, blood tests, and possibly vaccinations to reduce the risk of infection.
  • Lifestyle adjustments: Patients may need to change their diet, stop smoking, and avoid alcohol.
  • Psychological preparation: Counseling to help manage the stress and emotional aspects of the procedure.
  • Logistical arrangements: Planning for transportation, lodging near the transplant center, and arranging for follow-up care.

Length of Liver Transplant Surgery

Liver transplantation is a meticulous procedure that typically takes 6 to 12 hours. It depends on the complexity of the surgery and the individual patient’s medical condition. The surgical team meticulously navigates through the various stages. They are ensuring the utmost precision and care throughout the extensive procedure.

Liver Transplant Success Rate

Success rates for liver transplantation have increased significantly. Approximately 85-90% of patients survive the critical first year after transplantation. Ongoing advances in medical care and immunosuppressive therapies continue to improve the long-term survival of transplant recipients.

Liver Transplant Scar

A large, inverted Y-shaped scar remains after surgery, fading over time but always visible.

Liver Transplant Recovery

Liver transplant recovery is a lengthy process involving several stages. Initially, patients usually remain hospitalized for 1-2 weeks following surgery. Full recovery can take up to six months, during which regular follow-up visits, medication adjustments, and close monitoring for complications are essential. Long-term care requires a lifelong commitment to taking immunosuppressive drugs to prevent organ rejection and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Cost of Liver Transplantation

The cost of a liver transplant can vary widely. It is depending on the individual case’s country, hospital, and complexity. In the United States, costs range from $150,000 to $575,000. In Turkey, where Acıbadem Healthcare Group is a leading healthcare provider, the cost is generally lower.

Why Acıbadem Healthcare Group?

Acıbadem Healthcare Group is a renowned healthcare provider with a reputation for excellence in transplant surgery. Key reasons for choosing Acıbadem Healthcare Group include

  • Expertise And Experience: Highly skilled surgeons with extensive experience in liver transplantation.
  • State-of-the-Art Facilities: Modern medical technology and advanced surgical techniques.
  • Comprehensive Care: A multidisciplinary approach that ensures comprehensive pre- and post-transplant care.
  • Affordability: Competitive pricing without compromising quality.

Liver transplantation is a complex but life-saving procedure for patients with severe liver disease. Understanding the conditions it treats, eligibility criteria, preparation, and recovery process is crucial for prospective patients. With high success rates, facilities like Acıbadem Healthcare Group provide expertise in liver transplantation. Liver transplantation offers a new lease on life for many suffering from critical liver disease.