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What A Low MELD Score Means for Your Liver Transplant Surgery

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When your liver condition progresses into an end-stage liver disease, the hustle gets tougher. It is no longer about whether you’d need a liver transplant surgery or not. Rather, it’s about when you’ll get a donor organ and how close you are to a liver failure.


The MELD score (Model for End-stage liver disease) becomes the reason for your anxiety, mostly because this number decides which patient is eligible for the donor's liver. Since there aren’t many deceased donor organs, to begin with, the competition is fierce and hence the waiting list is longer.

I would like to discuss how a low MELD score can affect you or any patient’s chance of getting a donor organ.

What Exactly Is MELD

Call it a scoring system. By values of a patient for serums bilirubin and creatinine and INR or international normalised ratio for prothrombin time, a final number is calculated using a formula.

This concluding number, if higher, tell us that the patient is very ill and if lower, says that the patient is sick and will need a transplant, just not immediately.

A high MELD score is associated with low chances of survival. For instance, consider the case of a MELD over 40- 71.3% of prospects say that the patient will face death within the next three months.

Similarly, the three-month mortality rate for a MELD in the thirties is 53%. That for a MELD in the twenties is 20% and 2-6% for a score below 15. The score for cancer patients is allowed an advance depending on their liver failure stage.

And If You Have A Low MELD Score, What Does That Mean

It could mean very frustrating few months, possibly a year or so. Statistically, your lower score means that you aren’t dying soon and hence, you don’t deserve a donor liver just yet.

As hard as it might be for a patient on a death row to accept, there are sicker patients out there who’ll die within days if a liver transplant surgery isn’t scheduled asap. What it means for you, however, is a bit more complicated than that.

So, even when your body is out of sorts, your life is upside down, you can’t go to work, or participate in family gatherings like you used to, and frequenting hospitals is all that seems to be happening right now, the system refuses to give you a liver. While this whole thing is understandable under the light of fair distribution of limited resources, it could quickly become annoying for you as a patient.

What Can You Do When Waiting Gets on Your Nerves

Well, the anxiety can cause havoc. Avoiding it is of paramount importance, especially because you are sick and don’t need additional baggage.

It is crucial that you maintain your health. Walking, swimming or some general exercises are good. Making a habit out of them for a good part of the week can keep you up and energise. Also, a heightened physical activity level helps in recovery after liver surgery.

Since you are counting days to getting a new liver, the chances are that you suffer from a chronic liver disease, hypertension, or cirrhosis of the liver. A diet is necessary because you need to keep a check on what you put inside your body.

Much salt and boxed items should be a big no for you. Stick to fresh food.

Because it’s stupid and no matter how annoyed you are with a system that sees you as relatively healthy when you are obviously very close to kicking the bucket, not taking the medicine that keeps you up and running won’t do anybody any good.

Awaiting a liver transplant surgery while hoping to get away from liver failure- It’s a dark time. You can’t steer through without the light of positivity, for your life’s sake and for that of those close to you.

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ZealthDoc is a medical tourism website providing healthcare services like Liver Transplant, Kidney Transplant, Cardiology, IVF etc

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