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All about Deceased Donor Liver Transplant in India

11/01/2023

What is a deceased donor liver transplant?

A deceased donor liver transplant is a surgical treatment procedure during which a healthy liver is removed from a deceased donor and transplanted into a person who has a diseased or damaged liver. The deceased donor is typically someone who has been declared brain-dead but is still on life support, allowing their organs to be donated to others.

The healthy liver is then transplanted into the recipient, replacing their damaged liver and restoring their liver function. Deceased donor liver transplants can be life-saving for individuals with liver failure or liver disease requiring a new liver.

What is the procedure for a deceased donor liver transplant?

Liver transplants from deceased donors are usually performed when the latter is either brain dead or has suffered circulatory death.

The procedure typically begins with the surgical removal of the diseased liver from the recipient. Its transplantation follows after being carefully matched to the recipient based on various factors. The surgical team then connects the blood vessels and bile ducts of the donated liver to those of the recipient, ensuring that the liver receives a sufficient blood supply and can drain bile properly.

The transplant operation typically takes several hours to complete. After the transplant, the recipient must take immunosuppressant medications to prevent their body from rejecting the new liver.

Why must you be stable to qualify for a deceased donor liver transplant?

To qualify for a deceased donor liver transplant, a person must be stable enough to undergo surgery and recover. This is because liver transplant surgery is a complex and invasive procedure that carries significant risks and requires a certain level of health to be successful.

If a person is not stable enough, they may be unable to withstand the surgery or the recovery process, increasing the likelihood of complications or even death. Additionally, transplant surgeons and medical teams will typically prioritise individuals who are the most stable and have the best chance of a successful outcome and survival when selecting recipients for deceased donor liver transplants.

Is there a way to increase the probability of a successful deceased donor liver transplant?

There are several things that patients receiving a deceased organ transplant can do to ensure a successful treatment. Some of the critical steps to take include the following:

Follow the transplant team's instructions

It is important to follow all the instructions and advice your transplant team provides, including taking medications as prescribed and attending follow-up appointments.

Maintain a healthy lifestyle

Eating a healthy, balanced diet, getting regular exercise, and avoiding alcohol and tobacco can help to support the health of the transplanted organ and improve the chances of success.

Monitor for signs of rejection

You must be aware of the signs of organ rejection, including fever, fatigue, and changes in urine or stool. You must contact your transplant team immediately if you notice any of these symptoms.

Seek timely support

Receiving support from family and friends, as well as support groups for transplant recipients, can help to improve the chances of success and reduce the psychological and emotional stress of the transplant process.

Following these steps can help to ensure a successful deceased organ transplant and improve the chances of a positive outcome.

What are marginal organs?

'Marginal organs' is a term used to refer to organs that may not be suitable for transplantation due to certain factors, such as their condition or the amount of time they have been outside of the body.

These organs are considered too risky or low-quality to be transplanted. However, marginal organs may be used if no other suitable options are available. But, due to the potential risks associated with using marginal organs, transplant surgeons and medical teams will typically only consider using them as a last resort.

Summing it Up

A deceased donor liver transplant is a life-saving surgery in which a healthy liver is transplanted into a person whose liver is no longer functioning properly. The surgery can provide a second chance at life for those suffering from liver disease and offers hope to those in need of a transplant.

If you are struggling with liver disease and wish to know more about liver transplants and their success rate, consult with your top hepatologists at the best liver transplant hospital in Chennai, Gleneagles Global Health City Perumbakkam, Sholinganallur. To book your appointment, call 044 44777000.

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