Before you consider the option of a liver transplant, it’s necessary that you know about the various risks involved. This article contains in depth information on everything you wanted to know about liver transplant and the various effects it has.
Liver transplant is required when the liver has been damaged by a disease or been injured by an external force and cannot function properly. Liver transplantation is basically the replacement of the infected liver with a healthy one and today we are going to learn the various risks involved in this procedure. It’s very heart wrenching but there are more than 20,000 people alone in the United States who are in the need of a healthy liver.
According to the UNOS (United Network for Organ Sharing) more than 1000 liver transplant operations have been performed in 2002. These statistics alone show that liver problems are very common in the country and the need for liver donors are increasing day by day.
Do you know when the liver is alive and healthy, it performs more than 400 different functions for the body? It’s one of the most important organs of the body, and the second largest organ needed for transplantation after kidney. It’s not easy to be eligible for a liver transplant. If doctors come to the conclusion that patients with liver failure are not likely to live for more than a year, then that candidate would qualify for a liver transplant.
However, the whole procedure of liver transplantation is much more complex than it appears to be. There’s a lot of paperwork, tests and risks involve in it. Before you even qualify for the liver transplant, lots of tests and X-rays need to be done. On the results of those tests, the team of surgeons, doctors, nurses and liver experts would determine the need for a new liver.
Various Dangers of Liver Transplantation
Sure a liver transplant can save you from dying but there are various liver transplant complications which can arise during and after the surgery. During the surgery the most common risks are infection and rejection of the liver; your body may reject the new liver as your immune system is developed to reject or destroy foreign particles entering the body. There are high chances that your immune system will attack the healthy cells of the new liver because they are foreign.
In such cases patients are administered with “immunosuppressants” which slow down your immune system. The good news is that chances of rejection are very low, in 50% cases of liver transplantation only 1 case of rejection is seen. There are higher chances of infection as the immunosuppressants have slowed down the activity of the immune system. Your new liver can be infected by harmful viruses, bacteria and protozoa which can cause infections.
There have been instances where the transplantation was successful with no side effects but the patient has suffered from various post liver transplant risks. Problems include difficulty in breathing, internal bleeding, constant feeling of dehydration and stomach bloating, jaundice, internal swelling, diabetes, severe headaches, reduction in bone size, etc.
Criteria for Liver Transplantation
Other than the various tests and X-rays, there are also other factors which need to be considered before opting for liver transplantation. If the recipient is suffering from liver cancer, the transplantation can only be done if the cancer has not spread to other places. Patients suffering from hepatitis B, C, and D are also considered as ideal candidates for liver transplantation.
When a patient suffers from cirrhosis of liver then there’s a failure in the normal functioning of the liver and the person suffering from this disorder can be qualified to get a new liver. However, this purely depends on the overall health of the person.
Liver Transplant Cost
Don’t determine the total cost of the liver transplant on the operational procedure alone. After you’re done with your liver transplant procedure, there are various additional costs like post treatment check up every week or month, medications, progress report, organ recovery, hospital stay, monthly MRI and CT scans. The operation procedure would cost you around $300,000 which will include all the post operating charges and after that almost $50,000 for the after surgery recovery treatment to make sure the new organ is functioning right.
Hope this article on liver transplant risks and its cost was an interesting read. This surely is a complicated procedure and does have its own risks, but when your liver has failed liver transplant is the only possible option for survival.