Liver Transplant in India: Procedure, Cost & Success Rate

A liver transplant is a surgical procedure to replace a diseased liver with a healthy liver from another person. The most common reason for a liver transplant is cirrhosis, and healthy livers are obtained from an organ donor declared brain dead in most situations. This article will discuss everything you need to know, from liver transplant cost and types to procedures and risks.

Why is Liver Transplant Required?

The liver is one of the essential organs of the human body. It performs many vital functions, including cleaning the blood and removing toxins from the body. If the liver is damaged, it can’t function properly, making a liver transplant necessary. A liver transplant may also be required to save the patient’s life in some cases.

Some of the most common reasons for a liver transplant are:

  • Cirrhosis: Cirrhosis is a condition that results from long-term damage to the liver. This damage can be caused by many things, including alcoholism, viral infections, and certain medications. Cirrhosis can also lead to liver failure.
  • Hepatitis: Hepatitis is a viral infection that can damage the liver. There are many different types of hepatitis, and each one can cause different degrees of damage. Some forms of hepatitis can be cured, but others can lead to permanent liver damage.
  • Liver cancer: A relatively rare cancer, but it can be severe. Liver cancer can often be treated successfully with surgery or chemotherapy, but a liver transplant may be necessary in some cases.
  • Other diseases: Many other diseases can damage the liver and require a liver transplant. These include autoimmune diseases, genetic disorders, and infections. A person may also need a liver transplant if they have had a severe injury to the liver.
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Types of Liver Transplant

Liver transplants are of two kinds.

  1. Orthotopic transplant

In this type of transplant, the healthy liver is placed in the exact location of the diseased liver. This is the most common type of liver transplant. The patient can usually go home in 7-10 days, and it takes 6-8 weeks for the new liver to start working properly.

The procedure for this liver transplant surgery includes the surgeon making an incision in the patient’s abdomen to remove the diseased liver. Then, the healthy liver is placed in the exact location of the diseased liver, and the blood vessels and bile ducts are connected to the new liver. Finally, the incisions are closed, and the transplant is considered complete.

  • Heterotopic transplant

In a heterotopic transplant, the healthy liver is placed in a different location in the body, usually on the right side of the abdomen. This type of transplant is less common and is only done in special situations, such as when the patient has had previous abdominal surgery. Patients going through this kind of liver transplant require more recovery time, and it can take up to 3 months for the new liver to start working properly.

During the operation for a heterotopic liver transplant, the surgeon makes an incision in the patient’s abdomen, and the diseased liver is removed. Then, the healthy liver is placed in a different location in the body, the blood vessels and bile ducts are connected to the new liver, and the incisions are closed.

What is the Liver Transplant Cost in India?

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The cost of a liver transplant can vary depending on the hospital, the surgeon, and the patient’s health. However, in general, the cost is about Rs. 20-25 Lakhs, which excludes the cost of post-operative care or medications. 

What are the risks of Liver transplants?

As with any surgery, some risks are associated with a liver transplant. The risks of a liver transplant include:

  • Infection: There is a risk of infection at the transplant site, to prevent this, patients are given antibiotics.
  • Rejection: The body may reject the new liver. This is more likely to happen if the patient has had a previous transplant or if they have a history of rejection. Patients are given medication to help avoid rejection.
  • Bleeding: There is a risk of bleeding during and after the surgery.
  • Blood clots: After a liver transplant surgery, patients run the risk of blood clots forming in their legs or lungs. To prevent blood clots, patients are given medication.
  • Death: The rarest and most unusual risk associated with the surgery is death.

What is the success rate for Liver transplants?

The success rate for liver transplants varies depending on the reason for the transplant and the patient’s health. In general, the success rate is about 70 to 80%. This means that about 7 out of 10 patients who have a liver transplant will survive for at least 5 years.

How long does a person live after a Liver Transplant?

People who have a liver transplant can expect to live for many years. However, there is always a risk that the transplanted liver will fail and require another transplant.

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A liver transplant is a delicate surgical procedure that can be daunting to patients and their families. Thus, knowing details like the liver transplant cost, types of transplants, procedures, and other expenses can prove helpful.