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Liver » Liver Transplant

What Factors Should You Think about before a Liver Transplant?

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Your liver, besides being the largest organ of your body, also keeps you alive. Have no doubt, a loss of liver will result in death if not replaced.

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Now, certain mild liver infections or various diseases that affect the organ can be treated. However, after a point, the damage is no longer curable, and liver transplant becomes your sole lifeboat option.

If It Gets Detected Early on, Treatment Is Hopeful

Every liver has an expiry date, you see. Alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, too much paracetamol, hepatitis diseases, autoimmune disorders, genetic diseases- there is so much that can end up causing your liver to deteriorate over time.

You just have a better chance at getting treated quickly and comprehensively if the condition is detected in its early stages and the treatment is initiated immediately.

Dr Vivek Vij, the Director of Liver Transplantation Department, FMRI, talks about some symptoms/conditions that could hint towards a worsening liver.

If You Spot Any of the Following, Get a Thorough Liver Checkup

  • Jaundice
  • Constant mental and physical exhaustion without an appropriate cause to support the fatigue or tiredness.
  • Frequent nauseated behaviour followed by stomach sickness.
  • Drastic weight loss with no explanation.
  • Dark urine and black faeces.
  • Swollen ankles and feet without any valid reason.

End Stage Liver Conditions and Transplant Go-Ahead

When your liver loses over 80-90% of its functional ability, your doctors will start looking at transplant options. Of course, you aren’t the sole human who needs a new organ; many others do too.

The point here is that for a doctor,  giving you a final opinion about transplant requirement and putting you on the liver receiver list is not an easy decision. Many factors need consideration before that decision can be made.

You must remember that getting a new liver isn’t about the fact that you are sick, rather it is about how sick you are on a scale of critical conditions. Also, the following parameters are checked by any team of doctors before you are okayed for the organ receiver list.

The MELD Score - How Severe Is Your Condition?

  • Your 90-day survival rate- Can you or can you not live without a new liver for the next three months?
  • Other conditions- Do you have any other ailment like TB, HIV, cancer, or cardiovascular diseases that might render giving you a new liver useless in the attempts to save your life?
  • Alcohol/drug abuse- Are you constantly on an unhealthy level of drinking or drug diet? Is your body ready for surgery in case one gets scheduled?
  • Mental / Psychological status- Are you aware of what is happening with you? Are you in a state of understanding? Are you ready to recuperate after a surgery on a mental or emotional level?

The Liver Transplant Waiting Stage

Once your medical assistance team identifies and evaluates the above-stated parameters, you are allotted a score and put on a national waiting list. This score is based on your MELD levels and certain other factors that incorporate paediatric patients, congenital conditions, etc.

Regular blood tests will help update your MELD score. Although, organ distribution is a strict matter of availability and criticalness.

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