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Alternative namesHepatic transplant; Transplant - liver
DefinitionLiver transplant is surgery to replace a diseased liver with a healthy liver from a donor.
Liver transplants have become common operations worldwide.
The healthy liver is usually obtained from a donor who has recently died, but has not suffered liver injury. The healthy liver is transported in a cooled saline solution that preserves the organ for up to 8 hours, thus permitting the necessary analyses to determine blood and tissue donor-recipient matching.
In some cases, living donors may donate a piece of their liver for transplant to someone else, often a family member or friend. This poses some risk to the donor because of the nature of the operation, but since the liver can regenerate itself to some extent, both parties will end up with fully functioning livers after a successful transplant.
IndicationsA liver transplant may be recommended for:
RisksRisks for any anesthesia are:
Expectations after surgeryLiver transplants can save the lives of people who might otherwise die. Approximately 75% of patients survive 3 years or more after the transplant. The major problems with any transplant is:
ConvalescenceThe recovery period averages 12 weeks. Move legs often to reduce the risk of deep vein thrombosis . Resume normal activity as soon as possible after consulting with your physician.
Update Date: 5/1/2002Jenifer K. Lehrer, M.D., Department of Gastroenterology, Graduate Hospital, Philadelphia, PA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.
Last updated: Tue, 06 Jan 2009 00:20:03 GMT