Liver transplantation

Liver transplantation - stetoscope

A liver transplantation or hepatic transplantation is an operation that replaces a patients diseased liver with a whole or partial healthy liver from another person.

People who require a liver transplantation have one of the following conditions:

  • Acute liver failure
  • Chronic liver failure

There are three types of liver transplant surgery procedures:

  • Orthotropic transplantation is the replacement of the complete diseased liver with a healthy organ
  • Heterotopic transplantation involves the addition of a healthy donor liver at another site, while the diseased liver is left intact
  • Reduced-size liver transplantation is most often performed on children and involves the transplanting of a part of the healthy donor liver into a patient

Live donor liver transplantation is possible because the liver, unique among organs in humans, will regenerate.

This means that when part of a liver is taken from a live liver donor for transplantation, the portion that remains in the donor can regenerate to its original size. The portion transplanted into the recipient will also regenerate to a size that fits the recipient's body.

Criteria for live donation of a liver:

  • Must be in good physical and mental health
  • Must be between the ages of 18 and 60
  • Must have a body mass index or BMI that is less than 35
  • Must have a compatible blood type with the recipient
  • Must be free from the following:
    • Significant organ diseases, such as heart disease or kidney disease
    • Ongoing malignancy or cancer
    • HIV/AIDS
    • Hepatitis
    • Active or chronic infections
    • Active substance abuse

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