Liver transplant is life-saving for those with advanced cirrhosis, or acute liver failure or liver cancer which is confined to the liver. We at Medanta do 1-2 liver transplants a day with 95% success, which makes us the largest centre in the country and among the largest and most successful in the world.
The donor liver can be from two sources. One, from a brain dead (or deceased) person who is on life support in an ICU. Once doctors declare brain death, and the family agrees, such a person can donate upto 30 tissues and organs including liver, which can be life-saving or life-changing. We have a waiting list for these organs in 4 states but unfortunately, such donors are rare in India, and the wait for such a liver could be 4-12 months.
A safe alternative is live donor liver transplant in which a close relative donates a part of his liver for the patient. Such donors should be 18-55 years old, ideally blood group compatible, not overweight and a first of second degree relative. First degree covers spouse, siblings, children, parents, grandchildren and grandparents, whereas second degree relatives are cousins, in-laws, unclues, aunts, nephews, nieces. Usually the right or left side of liver is removed from the donor and transplanted in place of the diseased liver which is completely removed. The amazing quality about the liver is that both the transplanted part and the donor’s remaining part grow back by regeneration to their respective normal size in 2-3 months. The donor and recipient surgery proceeds simultaneously, and the donor is discharged home a week and the recipient 2 weeks after transplant.
The donor becomes fully functional in a month and can do hectic physical work or gym or sports in 3 months. The donor does not need any long-term medicines and is completely normal in every way as before liver donation.
The recipient recovers their normal energy and health in about 2 months, and can function completely normally after that. In most, the transplanted liver lasts a life-time with a normal post-transplant life expectancy. Of course, regular follow up every few months, and usually a single anti-rejection medicine is needed for the recipient for life.
Overall, the recipient gets a new lease of life with a successful transplant. Our team now have close to 1500 transplanted adults and children in India who had once given up hope due to liver failure, and are now enjoying a normal life.
To find out more, or to meet our previous patients and donors in your area, or for an appointment, you can log on to www.medanta.org/liver-transplant/etc or www.livertransplantindia.com or write to me on firstname.lastname@example.org, or call us on +919717772222 / +918800267222 / +919999282222.