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Liver is one of the vital and largest organs of the human body that serves as the powerhouse of energy as it produces:

  • Glucose which is the basic sugar and source of energy
  • Proteins which are the building blocks essential for growth
  • Bile, a fluid stored in the gall bladder that is necessary for absorption of the fats and vitamins
  • Blood clotting factor that aids in healing wounds

Being the largest organ of the human body, it is ideal for storage of essential substances like vitamins and minerals. It metabolizes and detoxifies the substances ingested by the body. Moreover, it also acts as a filter that removes impurities from the blood.

Liver transplantation is a complex and major surgical procedure which is done to replace the damaged or diseased liver with the healthy and normally functioning liver taken from the donor. Liver transplant is the second most commonly performed transplantation in the world after kidney transplant. It is indicated when the liver fails to perform its normal functions due to severe damage to the liver leading to is failure.

There are two types of liver transplant:

  • Deceased liver donation: involves transplantation of liver that has been taken from the person who died recently.
  • Living donor liver transplant: a section of liver is removed from the living donor and transplanted to the patient. As the liver has a tendency to regenerate itself, both the transplanted and the remaining part of the donor's liver can re-grow into the normal sized liver.

 

The liver transplant is the option left when all other lifestyle modifications and treatments have not prevented liver failure. Liver failure however, can happen slowly known as chronic liver failure or can happen suddenly called as acute liver failure.

Regardless of the type, liver failure can occur due to multiple causes but the most common cause for liver transplant is the liver cirrhosis which is characterised my chronic scarring of the liver mostly due to hepatitis virus infection or chronic alcohol abuse.

Several other common conditions for liver transplant are;

  • Bile duct disease like biliary duct atresia
  • Chronic hepatitis B and hepatitis C infection
  • Excessive iron in the body i.e. hemochromatosis
  • Genetic disease like Wilson's disease
  • Fatty liver disease
  • Primary or early stage liver cancer
  • Autoimmune liver disease
  • Alcoholic liver disease.

Treatment Options

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