(Last Updated On: March 15, 2021)
Liver Transplantation: the reasons behind and the process
We all know that the liver is the largest internal organ in the human body. This particular organ can perform almost 500 different functions and at the same time, it can produce more than 1000 enzymes and other proteins that are very essential to have good health. One cannot stay well with a bad liver and so when a liver fails to function properly one needs liver transplantation. One needs to find the best liver transplant hospital in India for the surgery and in the case of transplantation, a donor is needed we have brought this article for Liver transplant guidelines.
The blood enters the liver from 2 channels. One is the hepatic artery and the other is the portal vein which can bring nutrients and oxygen to the liver cells. Then the blood leaves the liver through the hepatic veins and then immediately enters the heart. The lover makes bile which is a liquid that helps to dissolve fat and eliminate the toxins and metabolic wastes through the intestine. Each hepatocyte creates bile and excretes it into microscopic channels that join to form bile ducts. Now, there are a few reasons why liver transplantation is needed.
- Liver failure has happened due to some metabolic disorders.
- If there has been a long-term infection that has remained active in form of Hepatitis.
- A clot is there due to Thrombosis.
- Liver damage has happened due to cirrhosis of the liver or due to biliary cirrhosis.
Now it has been said earlier that liver transplantation needs a proper functioning lover which has to be donated. It can be a liver from someone who has died or it can also be from a living donor.
The organ and its functions
The liver is located right at the upper abdomen and just below the diaphragm. It has some major body tasks to do.
Here are some as follows:
- It converts the nutrients from food into important enzymes, minerals, vitamins, hormones, and other molecules that the body requires to function properly.
- It stores all the molecules like glycogen which is a form of stored energy for cells, vitamins, and minerals till they are needed for other organs.
- It helps in breaking down all the harmful substances lie poisons, alcohol, and other harmful things.
- It also produces bile which is a fluid and it helps in digesting nutrients and fats.
- It removes bacteria and toxins from the blood
- It can process all the nutrients, medications, and hormones.
A liver is an internal organ that is actually capable of full regeneration. Sometimes 25 percent of a liver can regrow into a full liver again. This regenerative property is the actual good thing because, in the case of live donor liver transplantation, a procedure in which a portion of a donor’s liver is transplanted into a recipient; both the livers will grow in size and return to normal function in a time of few weeks.
Diseases that lead to liver transplantation
- Chronic viral hepatitis both B and C can cause inflammation and chronic damage to the liver.
- An acute liver failure mainly happens due to a form of virus from ingesting a poisonous substance.
- Alcoholic liver.
- Autoimmune hepatitis where the immunity system of a human body suffers and destroys the liver tissues.
- Nonalcoholic fatty liver diseases and some diseases related to fat deposits on the liver.
- Hepatitis liver tumors.
- Metabolic and genetic disorders, which are inherited and include diseases such as alpha 1 antitrypsin deficiency, hemochromatosis, Wilson’s disease, and polycystic liver disease
How a liver transplantation does take place?
The first thing that one needs in case of liver transplantation is a healthy liver from a recently deceased donor and it has to be preferably from someone who has never faced any liver disease. Also, it is very important that the donated liver or the liver segment has to be accepted by the patient’s body. So it can also be done by taking liver tissue from a close relative as it mostly matches with the recipient’s immune system. Also, the liver has a lot of regenerative faculties. That is why; a close family member can always donate a segment of the lover to save their close one’s life. This transplantation surgery can take up to 12 hours. The tampered lover is removed by making an incision in the upper abdomen. Then the donor liver or the liver tissue is attached to the patient’s bile ducts and the blood vessels.
One has to remember that this surgery also involves a lot of risks. There can be bile duct complications, bleeding, shrinking of bile ducts, blood clots, infection, failure of the donated liver, rejection of the donated liver, and recurrence of liver diseases.
Liver transplant guidelines
Now whether one needs liver transplantation or not has to be evaluated by specialists from several fields. The best liver transplant specialist in India reviews the patient’s surgical, medical, and psychosocial history to decide that. Many health care facilities offer an interdisciplinary approach to select a candidate for liver transplants. The transplant coordinator specializes in the care of liver transplant patients. Then there is a psychiatrist who helps the patient to deal with that issue so that the patient does not suffer from depression. Then there is also a nutritionist who can help with the diet chart of the patient both before and after the surgery.
Once the liver transplantation is done successfully, the receiver can live a happy and healthy life but the only thing is they will need medications forever. The new liver will be a bit strange to the recipient’s body and so one has to take drugs to keep their immune system intact so that the body can fight against all the germ attacks. But these medications sometimes come with side effects like diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.
But apart from that, liver transplantation if successful can give a new life to the patient.