Liver Transplant in India
Liver transplant surgery is done to remove the diseased or dysfunctional liver, replacing it with a new healthy one. Liver can be taken either from a living or a deceased donor. With a waiting list of recipients greatly exceeding from that of the donors is the reason why liver transplant is not that common and even expensive.
Liver transplant is only performed on the patients who are at the end stage of some chronic liver disease or have suffered with sudden liver failure due to some underlying reasons.
Some of the most common symptoms of liver disease are mentioned below -
- Fatigue and weakness
- Nausea and loss of appetite
- Muscle and weight loss
- Black stools and vomiting
- Problems with blood clotting
- Confusion and forgetfulness
- Build up of fluids in the abdomen
When Do You Need Liver Transplant?
Patients who are suffering from the following liver conditions are referred for a liver transplant -
Acute liver failure due to drug-induced conditions.
End stage of liver disease- Liver cirrhosis.
Hepatic tumor or cancer.
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).
Alcoholic liver disease.
Chronic viral hepatitis.
Other types of diseases causing liver failure.
Some of the other major reasons of getting chronic liver disease cirrhosis are -
- Infected bile ducts.
- Hemochromatosis – Genetic disease in which the liver builds up large amount of iron.
- Wilson’s disease in which the copper starts getting accumulated in the liver by itself.
- Liver cancers such as- hepatoblastoma, cholangiocarcinoma and hepatocellular carcinoma.
Procedure Before Liver Transplant Surgery
The first step is to organize for a new health liver based on the compatibility of the blood group and organ size. Certain tests are conducted for the same on both the recipient as well as the liver donor.
The donors liver is rejected in certain cases such as if the patient’s liver starts to show signs of improvement or the transplanted liver is not able to show compatibility with the recipient body.
Several tests are conducted before the final procedure such as -
- Blood tests.
- Psychometric tests to test the readiness of the patient.
Further, the doctor refers the patient to the transplant center where the recipient is kept to be assessed by a team of professionals who are experts in liver transplant surgery. They make an overall note of the patient’s medical stats and functionality of the other organs such as lungs, heart and kidneys.
Based on the complete evaluation of the situation and the severity of the liver disease the decision is taken by the liver transplant surgeons whether to put or not to put the recipient’s name in the “national waiting list for a liver transplant”.
Procedure During Liver Transplant Surgery
The first step is to extract the diseased liver from the patient’s body by making an incision in the upper abdomen and detaching it from the connecting blood vessels and common bile duct.
Then the ducts and vessels are clamped to finally extract the liver. Later these blood vessels and ducts are attached with the liver of that from the donor.
Cost of Liver Transplant in India
Liver transplant surgery is most affordable in India when compared to rest of the countries in the world. Some of the factors on which the liver transplant surgery cost depends are –
- Liver transplant surgeon charges
- Number of specialists required in the procedure
- Days spent in intensive care unit (ICU)
- Overall costs of medications
- Type of hospital room
- Post-surgery consultation and rehabilitation
- Total duration of hospital stay
Over all cost of liver transplant in India varies from $28,000 USD to 33,000 USD, depending upon hospital, room stay, etc.
Recovery time -
Once the surgery has been done successfully, the patient is kept in the hospital for a week or so to analyze the after effects of the transplant. During the starting, the patient is kept in an anesthesia recovery room. After the condition of the patient stabilizes and recovers from the effect of anesthesia he/she is shifted to a normal hospital room.
To keep a constant track on the patient’s vital organs of the body, multiple monitoring lines are connected. The overall recovery time of the patient varies from on to eight weeks during which the patient might be asked to stay in the hospital itself.