Liver Transplant process: step-by-step

Liver Transplant Procedure

  1. Pre-evaluation for Liver transplant:
    Once your doctor decides that liver transplant is the only option to cure the liver disease, he checks if the patient is fit enough for the surgical procedure via series of tests before the surgery.
  2. Register with liver transplant hospital:
    After a thorough evaluation and confirmation by a team of liver transplant surgeons and gastroenterologist, the patient has to get registered at a high-end tertiary care liver transplant hospital as a candidate for transplant.
  3. Getting a donor liver:
    The next step is finding the right liver donor for the patient. If you receive a live donor whose medical specifications matches with the patient, the surgery can be planned within a stipulated time while in case of cadaveric/deceased liver donor, there would be a long wait of few months to get a matching liver. Often hospitals help the patient to get matching cadaveric donor or assist to connect with the organizations who work in finding the right organ donor. Once the donor liver is received the hospital immediately contacts the registered patient (recipient) for preoperative evaluation via series of tests (CT scan, MRI, blood tests with viral markers, and cardiac function test, etc.)
  4. Undergoing liver transplant surgery:
    In case of cadaveric transplant, once the donor’s liver is matched, the medical team starts the procedure immediately after the new liver reaches the hospital. In case of a live donor liver transplant, after the series of preoperative tests of both the patient and the donor, the transplant is planned on a set date. The surgery of both the patient and donor starts together.  The liver transplant surgery can last for about 10-14 hours and even more in case of a live donor transplant.
  5. Post-operation hospital stay:
    The hospital stay of the liver recipient (patient) is of about three weeks while the donor is discharged within seven to 10 days of surgery.
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