As the famous saying goes “Is life worth living? It depends on the liver” is completely true. The liver is a vital organ of your body that filters the blood and helps remove the toxins from your body. Other than this, it produces protein and bile and processes the nutrients from food to make energy.

It is a serious issue if for any reason the liver underperforms or completely stops working. This may happen due to acute (sudden) or chronic (long-term) liver diseases. In such cases, the doctor may suggest liver transplant which is the last measure to save the patient’s life. Thousands of liver transplant in India is carried out every year and the numbers keep on increasing.

Do you know why?

Well, India is on par with the developed countries when it comes to excellent medical infrastructure. The surgeons performing liver transplant surgery in India are expert and have the confidence to perform this complicated surgery with ease as they perform several such surgeries and have gained a lot of experience. As they say “practice makes a man perfect”.

Apart from this, the liver transplant cost in India is quite reasonable. The approximate cost for this procedure ranges from Rs.500000.00 to Rs.2000000.00 depending on the choice of hospital, whether it is government or a private one. You may have to pay up to Rs.3500000.00 in A-grade hospitals.

However, if you compare the liver transplant cost in India with the developed countries you will see a vast difference in the price as you will have to pay around $232470 - $464940 for the same surgery in the USA.

Important facts you should know about liver transplant:

  • For chronic cirrhosis, liver transplant is the only cure
  • After transplant, the quality of life returns to normal
  • High success rate up to 80%
  • Regular follow-ups and life-long medications are necessary after the surgery
  • You can source the liver for transplantation from either a brain dead person or your close relative whose blood group is similar to yours.
  • A living person can easily donate a part of their liver as it is the only organ which grows back to its original size within a couple of months.

 

How is the patient evaluated for a liver transplant?

Whether you need a liver transplant or not is decided by the surgeon after assessing you. If your life expectancy is below a year then, a liver transplant is the only option left. Even then the doctor will assess your case as your condition at the time of surgery has a big impact on the outcome. The results are usually not favorable if the patient is suffering from other organ damage such as kidney failure, active infection or is critically ill at the time of surgery. To avoid such a scenario, timely treatment is of utmost importance.

Most common factors leading to liver transplant:

  • Liver cancer
  • Genetic liver disease
  • Hepatitis (A, B, C, D)
  • End-stage cirrhosis

 

Let’s briefly discuss the procedure for liver transplant surgery:

On an average, the surgery takes about 6-12 hours depending on the complications of the case and the expertise of the surgeon. The surgery is performed under general anesthesia and a tube is placed through the mouth into the windpipe to assist the patient in breathing.

An incision is made in the abdomen through which the diseased liver is removed and replaced with the healthy donated liver. The bile ducts and the major blood vessels are connected to the liver and then the surgeon sutures up the incision.

Types of liver transplant in India:

Here, a liver transplant is done by three methods namely:

Orthotopic Transplantation: This complex procedure involves the removal of the diseased liver and replacing it with the donor liver in the same anatomic position.

Heterotopic Transplantation: Here, the healthy donor liver is placed in the body without removing the diseased liver. This surgery is done when there is a hope for the original liver to recover. If it does not happen then the original one shrivels away.

Reduced-size liver transplant: In this type of transplantation one donor liver is used to save two lives. The donor’s liver is split into two and the larger lobe is used for an adult and the smaller one for a child.