What is a liver transplant:
The transfer of all liver or a part of a liver from a donor to a recipient patient is named liver transplant. The liver graft is done in cases of liver diseases such as congenital liver disease or cirrhosis. Diseased liver is removed to be replaced with that of a deceased person. In children, it is done a reduced graft ( because of the reasons of size – it is grafted only a part of one adult liver). The small number of available livers leads to the development of new solutions: shared graft – two patients , each receive a portion of the liver; or taking a piece of liver from a living donor. Operative mortality is around 5 to 10%. Currently, the percentage of liver transplant survival up to 2 years is about 70%.
Liver transplant problems, symptoms and indications:
The main disease for which the liver transplant is indicated are: cholestatic liver disease ( secondary and primary biliary cirrhosis, sclerosing cholangitis, biliary atresia, cystic fibrosis) , cirrhosis postviral( B, C,), other liver cirrhosis( autoimmune liver disease, cirrhosis cryptogenic after toxic substances), alcoholic cirrhosis that meets some conditions, metabolic liver diseases, Wilson disease, deficiency of alpha-1-antitrypsin, glycogenosis, tyrosinemia, familial haematological amyloid, acute hepatic necrosis, primitive liver cancer.
To see if the patient has immediate indication for liver transplantation, there are a number of parameters that are taken into account, and it is a score (Child or MELD), based on which we can estimate more accurate whether a person has liver transplant indication and how urgent is this indication.
Liver transplant contraindications:
The liver can not be transplanted at any time or to anybody. There are some conditions or situations that may cause a liver transplant to be contraindicated: persons with HIV, spontaneous bacterial peritonitis or other severe infections, advanced cardiac disease, advanced lung disease, extrahepatic incurable cancers , active consumers of alcohol or drugs, failure to follow the protocol of immunosuppression because of social or family reasons, liver previous operations.
Situations when liver transplantation can not be done are postponed or there are applied other therapeutic methods . Renal failure (is made a combined kidney and liver transplant), advanced cachexia, advanced liver cancer, cirrhosis, hepatitis B virus resistant to the antiviral treatment, or mesenteric vein thrombosis, cancer in history that does not meet the criteria for healing (not sure it was healed), active infection at any site , severe pulmonary hypertension.
Liver transplantation is a therapeutic method applied in patients with liver disease that are in advanced stages, and that can not benefit from alternative therapies; liver transplant can be considered as the last therapeutic resource. It is estimated that about 10,000 liver transplants are done annually and the waiting lists are about 25 to 30,000 patients.
This blog post is an educational resource only and does not replace a medical consultation with a doctor .
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