Liver Transplant Surgery: Procedure & Techniques

Sonali Kapoor

, Health A2Z

The liver is an important organ in the human body. Lifestyles of many people push them towards increased risk of liver damage. The condition where the efficiency of the liver decreases, increases the risk of liver damage and thus, liver transplant surgery is needed.


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What is Liver Transplant?


It is the surgical method of a damaged liver with a healthy liver from another person. It is a treatment option for end-stage liver disease and acute liver failure, although the availability of donor organs is a major limitation.


Why Liver Transplant is Important?


Liver transplant is a surgical treatment for people with liver failure whose condition can’t be managed other with treatments and for some people with liver cancer. Liver failure happens quickly or over a longer period of time. The liver failure appears in a matter of weeks, is called acute liver failure (fulminant hepatic failure) and is usually the result of the medication-induced liver injury.


Moreover, a liver transplant may treat acute liver failure, it is more often used to treat chronic liver failure. Long term liver failure happens slowly over months and years.


What are the Causes of a Liver Transplant?


Long term liver failure may be caused by a variety of conditions. The rarest cause of awful liver failure is scarring of the liver (cirrhosis), a process in which scar tissue replaces normal liver tissue and impairs liver function. Cirrhosis is a frequently cited reason for a liver transplant.


1. Hepatitis B and C


2. Alcoholic liver disease


3. Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease


4. Genetic diseases affecting the liver (including hemochromatosis and Wilson’s disease)


5. Diseases which affect the bile ducts (the tubes that carry bile away from the liver), like – primary biliary cirrhosis, primary sclerosing cholangitis, and biliary atresia. Biliary atresia is the very common reason for liver transplant among children.


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What are the Complications of a Liver Transplant?


This surgery carries a risk of significant complications. The risk factors related to the procedure include:


1. Complications of the Bile duct, including bile duct leaks or shrinking of the bile ducts


2. Bleeding


3. Blood clots


4. Failure of donated liver


5. Infection


6. Rejection of donated liver


7. Mental confusion or seizures



Anti-rejection Medication Side Effects


Post surgery of a liver transplant, you’ll take medications for the rest of your life to help prevent your body from rejecting the donated liver. These anti-rejection medications cause a variety of side effects, including:


1. Bone thinning


2. Diabetes


3. Diarrhea


4. Headaches


5. High blood pressure


6. High cholesterol




Who Needs a Liver Transplant?


There are two categories:


Acute Liver Failure


Acute liver failure is also known as a fulminant hepatic failure, it appears when a previously healthy liver suffers a massive injury resulting in clinical signs and symptoms of liver insufficiency. Some number of things can lead to acute liver failure but the most common causes are acetaminophen overdose, viral infections, ingestion of a toxin such as poisonous mushrooms, or an idiosyncratic drug reaction.


Chronic liver failure


The liver has an outstanding ability to repair itself in response to injury. Nevertheless, repeated injury and repair, typically over many years and even decades, scars the liver permanently. The last stage of scarring is termed cirrhosis and corresponds to the point where the liver can no longer repair itself.




In the above article, we have discussed liver transplant and its importance, causes, complications and more importantly the who needs this transplantation, liver transplant is the best way to secure your life. If you are dealing with liver failure or liver problem then consult your doctor. It can be an option for you, which can improve your quality of life


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