It is important to be aware of all possible problems that may occur post liver transplant. This HealthHearty article discusses the probable difficulties that you might encounter.
As the name suggests, this procedure refers to a surgical process wherein, a diseased liver gets replaced by a healthy one (received from a donor). In most cases, the donor is a deceased person, and hasn’t had a liver injury. However, a person can choose to donate a part of his liver, while he is still alive. The liver has the ability to regrow itself. And in most cases, both people are able to have a fully functional liver after the operation.
Possible Risks Involved
Being aware of the procedure would provide you a great deal of help in preparing for the surgery, and also help you take steps to reduce the risks of complications. The most common and severe types of complications may include:
- Breathing problems may arise as a result of anesthesia.
- Problems may occur with the bile duct (long tube-like structures that carry bile). The common ones may include bile ducts shrinkage or leakage.
- Bleeding is also one of the severe complications.
- Infection is another major risk that makes managing the condition after surgery a difficult process. This is due to the fact that the patient must take medication to suppress the immune system for the rest of his life, so that it does not reject the new liver that has been transplanted in the body.
The important symptoms to watch for infection may include:
- Jaundice (the whites of the eyes, and the skin begin to turn yellow)
- Fever and tenderness
Medications that are prescribed after the operation (immunosuppressants) can also give rise to some additional side effects which may include:
- Thinning of bones
- Increased cholesterol levels
- Blood clots
- Another significant risk is failure of the donated liver.
- In some people, despite taking immunosuppressants, the immune system regards it as a foreign substance and attacks it thus, leading to its rejection. This may occur soon after the surgery, or may take months or years.
- Problems with memory and brain function may also occur.
These were some of the most common complications that may occur during the post-operative period. The severity of any of the aforementioned problems will depend on the health of the patient.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.