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Home Health Liver Transplant Surgery: Preparation and Procedure

Liver Transplant Surgery: Preparation and Procedure

Liver transplant surgery is a complex procedure and is only performed on a person who meets the eligibility criteria. A person is considered eligible for liver transplant surgery in India if he/she has end-stage liver disease or acute liver failure when other treatments are no longer effective. Before transplant evaluation, it should be ensured that the people who are selected for transplant should be free of:

  • Alcohol for at least six months
  • Cancer outside the liver
  • Active infections
  • Disabling psychiatric conditions
  • Substance abuse
  • Documented medical non-compliance
  • Other diseases or conditions
  • Inadequate insurance and social support

Other factors such as blood type, body size, and geography are also crucial for liver transplant in India. The liver has a viability of eight to nine hours outside the body. So, being in the same geographical region as the donor is important to ensure that the donor’s liver can be delivered to the recipient while it is still viable. The patient and the donor must have a similar/compatible blood type. Body size is important too to make sure that the size of the new liver is right for the recipient.

Types of Liver Transplant Surgery

Following below are the types of liver transplant surgery:

  • Orthotopic liver transplantation: The diseased liver is replaced with a healthy liver from a deceased donor. The transplantation procedure should be completed while the donor’s liver is still viable.
  • Living donor transplantation: This is a partial liver surgery and it should be done before the liver disease is severe enough to require a full organ transplant. The living donor’s liver is partially removed and the removed portion called a graft is transplanted into the recipient.

Liver Transplant Surgery Preparation

For liver transplant surgery preparation, the individual should not eat or drink anything on the day of surgery. Testings are done and consent for liver transplant surgery is signed before the procedure. Liver transplant surgery is a major procedure that will last between six to twelve hours. General anesthesia is administered to the patient. Several tubes are installed into the body to carry out certain functions while the patient is unconscious, and these tubes remain in the body for a few days following the procedure. Typically they are:

  • Intravenous catheter (IV) in hand or arm vein to deliver medication and fluids
  • IV in a neck or thigh vein to take blood samples and monitor the blood pressure
  • A tube through the mouth and in the windpipe which is attached to a mechanical ventilator. The ventilator will mechanically expand the lungs to ensure breathing during the surgery.
  • Tubes in the abdomen drain blood and fluid from the area around the liver
  • A nasogastric tube is inserted through the nose and into the stomach to drain stomach secretions
  • A catheter is installed into the urinary bladder to drain urine.

Helpful:- Top 10 Liver Transplant Hospitals in India

Liver Transplant Surgery Procedure

Once all surgical requirements have been met, the operation will begin. The following actions listed below are performed.

  • An incision is made on the abdomen
  • The blood vessels supplying the diseased liver are cut off
  • The diseased liver is then removed and a healthy liver is transplanted
  • The blood vessels and bile ducts are then reattached
  • The incision is closed up


  • Possible stay in the ICU – Doctor and nurses will monitor the patient’s condition carefully to know if there are any signs of complication. Frequent tests will be done to check if the new liver functions well.
  • Hospitalization – The patient will have to stay at least 5-10 days at the hospital afterward.
  • Check-ups – Frequent checkup is mandatory even after recovery at home. The transplant team will design a checkup schedule for the patient.
  • Medication – Certain medications such as immunosuppressants would be required for the patients to be taken for the rest of their lives. These are necessary to prevent the immune system from attacking the new liver. Some medications will also be prescribed to prevent other complications

Helpful:- Liver Transplant Surgery Survival Rate In India

Risks Associated with Liver Transplant Surgery

  • Blood clots during surgery
  • Hemorrhage
  • Rejection of the donor’s liver
  • Infection
  • Bile duct injury
  • Primary graft dysfunction

The amount of liver transplant surgery cost in India might vary depending on several factors. Although the procedure is expensive, insurance can cover a large amount of the cost for those who are eligible for the procedure. There are also some organizations available for a person facing financial issues. Things such as the choice of hospitals and preferred surgeons, the type of surgery that a patient needs, additional care, and complications that can arise are some of the important factors that can affect the expense of liver transplant surgery cost in India.

Liver transplant survival rate will depend on many factors such as the patient’s health, age, and the liver disease that causes the need for a transplant. The average liver transplant survival rate is 75% after five years and 53% after 20 years. The short-term survival rate is higher in people who received a liver from a living donor rather than those received from a deceased donor. To increase the survival rate, make sure to stay in contact with healthcare professionals and never skip a dose of prescribed medication. Regular checkup and being aware of possible infections is necessary. Avoid intake of alcohol and tobacco. Maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle is very beneficial.

Also Read:- Aziz Alasmar Biography

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