Liver Transplant: Here is Everything You Need to Know
Liver diseases are more widespread than most of us realize. As per an estimate 1 out of 4 people is suffering from one or the other kind of liver diseases.
Liver disease can be mild during the initial phase but it can lead to serious health problems. Changing lifestyle and widespread diseases like type 2 diabetes and obesity are crucial factors that contribute to liver disease. In India, every year around 2,00,000 people die of liver disease. Out of them, 50,000 to 60,000 are in a dire need of a liver transplant.
Globally, every year around 25,000 liver transplants are performed. Now, do you realize how huge the gap is between the number of patients who need a transplant and the ones who actually undergo it? There are several liver hospitals in India that are equipped with advanced technology and a team of medical experts to perform liver transplant surgery successfully. However, finding the right donor is a huge challenge.
A human body cannot function well without a healthy liver. The liver is an important organ that performs more than 500 functions in the body. Some of them are extremely crucial functions like the removal of toxins, storage of vitamins and minerals, metabolization of drugs, and bile production that helps us digest food. These vital functions are disrupted when a person develops diseases like end-stage cirrhosis or liver cancer. That is why it is important to consult the best liver doctor in India to prevent the situation from deteriorating.
When does a patient need a liver transplant?
After a point, the liver reaches a critical stage of damage and fails to recover on its own. In such a situation, liver transplant becomes essential for the patient. In a liver transplant, the diseased liver is replaced with a healthy one through a surgical procedure. A liver transplant is also known as hepatic transplant. A deceased or living donor can donate a healthy liver to the needy.
What is the success ratio?
The procedure of a liver transplant in India has a great success ratio. Only in 5 to 10% cases, it may pose risk to life. The statistics suggest that 90% of patients survive one year after the surgery.
75% of the people who undergo liver transplant live for at least five years. About 55 to 60% of patients can lead a normal and healthy life after the transplant. However, they have to be dependent upon medications and make some major changes to their lifestyle to lead a healthy life.
How much does it cost?
Liver transplant is a complex and major surgery. It costs about Rs. 40,00,000 (50,000 USD). However, the same treatment may cost five times more in western countries. When it comes to medical facilities and expertise, Indian hospitals and Indian doctors are second to none.
The cost of liver transplant surgery is high because it requires highly trained medical staff. It is a major surgery that requires high-end instruments, costly medicines and medical products. Also, it is a long procedure and it requires extensive follow-up even after the surgery is performed. The patient has to take medicines for the rest of life. Considering all these factors, the cost of liver transplant surgery may shoot up. Let’s have a look at what contributes the most to the cost of the transplant.
– Medications and anti-rejection drugs
– Laboratory tests before and after the surgery
– Prolonged hospital stays during the recovery phase
– Physical therapy and rehabilitation.
What to expect?
After a liver transplant, you will need medical support to recover. For that, you may have to stay in the hospital for days. It is better to prepare your mind for the post-transplant changes prior to the surgery.
After the successful transplant surgery, doctors and nurses will monitor your condition for days in the intensive care unit and see whether any complications have developed or not. They will check whether the functioning of the new liver in your body.
After staying in the ICU, you will have to stay 5 to 10 days in the hospital. After the medical team is fully convinced that you do not need medical observation and your condition is stable, they may discharge you from the hospital.
Even after you recover fully, you will have to visit the doctor for regular check-ups. The medical team will give you a check-up schedule which you have to diligently follow. Initially, you will have to get blood tests done a few times every week. The frequency will decrease over a period of time.
After your liver transplant, be prepared to take medicines for the rest of your life. To prevent your body’s immune system from attacking the new liver, you will have to take immunosuppressants for the rest of your life. The other medicines will help reduce the chances of complications after transplant surgery.
The patient may take up to six months to fully recover. However, your health condition prior to surgery will play a crucial role in it.
You will have to make essential changes to your diet after your surgery. The patient should prioritize a well-balanced diet that can boost the recovery process. Generally, the medical team consists of a nutrition specialist who advises the patients on what to eat and what not after the surgery.
The liver patient must reduce the intake of salt, cholesterol, fat and sugar in the diet. Avoiding alcohol is crucial for liver patients. The ideal diet for liver patients comprises of:
– Five servings of fruits and vegetables.
– High-fibre food
– Whole grain food in place of processed ones
– Low-fat and fat-free dairy products
Physical activities and exercise are important for liver patients. They have to make them an important part of their routine. It will boost their physical and mental health. Walking is the best exercise for liver patients. To lead an active life after the transplant, they can also do bicycling, swimming and low-impact strength training.Liver Transplant Treatment
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