A well-functioning liver is crucial for a person to lead a normal life. Despite the many complications of a liver transplant, its success rates are significantly high. The high success rates of liver transplants are a ray of hope for those struggling with liver-related ailments.
However, before going ahead with the surgery, one must be well aware of the many essential parts of this surgery. These include the effectiveness of treatment, liver transplant cost, risks, complications, and other factors.
1 What is Liver Transplant?
A liver transplant is a surgical procedure for replacing an unhealthy liver with a healthy and well-functioning liver. This healthy liver can be taken from a related or a deceased donor.
The liver is one of the most essential organs situated towards the right side of the abdomen. From enabling the body to digest carbohydrates, proteins, and fats to making blood clots and removing toxins, it performs many vital functions.
Considering its importance, as mentioned above, a liver ailment or disease can be life-threatening. This is where a liver transplant comes to the rescue.
Types of Liver Transplant
India is a preferred liver transplantation destination owing to its experienced healthcare personnel, modern facilities, inexpensive expenses, and vast pool of living donors. There are different types of liver transplants, which include:
- Living Donor Liver Transplant: In this surgery, the damaged liver is replaced with a portion of a healthy liver.
- Deceased Liver Transplant or Orthotopic Transplant: This transplant is done in an emergency. The entire liver of a deceased or dead person is taken and replaced with the unhealthy liver of the patient.
- Split Liver Transplantation: This is the surgery where the liver obtained from a deceased donor is placed in two separate bodies. 35-40% of the left lobe, a smaller portion of the liver, can be used for children. At the same time, 60-70% of the right lobe can be used for an adult.
Depending on the availability and the medical condition, the healthcare provider selects the type of liver transplant surgery. Some of the most common health conditions determining the selection of the surgery are:
- Liver Cirrhosis
- Liver failure due to alcohol, etc.
2 Success Rate of Liver Transplant
Even though a liver transplant is a life-saving procedure, the success rate varies from one person to another. The recipients must have a thorough discussion with their healthcare team and understand the factors affecting the success rate of this surgery.
According to NOTTO (National Organ and Tissue Transplant Organisation), the liver transplant success rate is as high as 95% in India.
One of the most significant factors affecting the success rates of liver transplants is the type of liver problems a person has. According to NOTTO, the survival rates are as follows:
- One year – upto 84.3%
- Five years – upto 75.5%
- Ten years – 72.2%
3 Factors Affecting the Liver Transplant Success Rate
In most cases, patients who receive a portion of the healthy liver from living donors have a better and improved success rate post-surgery. Some of the most common factors contributing to the success rate of liver transplants are:
- Health Issues: In cases where the patients are suffering from problems like diabetes, blood pressure, or any other type of cardiovascular disease, the liver transplant success rate is sure to be affected.
- The Age of the Patient: Older patients are at a higher risk of liver transplant complications than young patients.
- Donor Availability and Match: In a country like India, there is a long waiting list for donors. Sometimes, excessive delays may become the root cause of unsuccessful liver transplants.
- Post-Operative Care and Medications: Cases where the patients do not follow the instructions and advice of their healthcare providers witness increased complications. One needs to take necessary care and medications as and when prescribed by their healthcare providers.
- Essential Lifestyle Changes: Certain habits, such as smoking, alcohol consumption, bad eating habits, etc., can prove fatal for a person who has undergone a liver transplant. Following a healthy and well-balanced lifestyle is a must for long-term good results.
4 Liver Transplant Cost
The cost of liver transplants in India can range from ₹15,00,000 to ₹35,00,000. However, this price may fluctuate based on many factors. Some of the most common ones affecting the liver transplant cost are:
- Choice of Hospital: Private hospitals are costlier compared to government hospitals. The costs can also fluctuate depending on the city, the hospital, the speciality of the hospital, etc.
- Choice of the Medical Team: The experiences and expertise of the healthcare providers also influence the final costs. The more experience a medical team has, the higher their remunerations or fees may be.
- Pre and Post-Operative Tests: Several medical and diagnostic tests are important to analyse the exact liver condition. These tests are performed both pre- and post the operation.
- Postoperative Care: Extensive and effective care is one of the most vital factors determining the success rate of liver transplants. However, medications, postoperative care, follow-ups, etc., can impact liver transplant costs.
- Regular Follow-ups: Timely checkups and follow-ups are crucial, not just to maintain a check on the success and the status of the liver transplant. It is also essential to avoid complications. These visits can add to the total liver transplant cost.
A liver transplant is like a ray of hope for people suffering from liver-related problems and ailments. But before one moves ahead with the surgery, one must clearly understand the liver transplant cost, medical procedure, and success rate.
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