Sustainable Treatment of Liver Failure through Liver Transplant Surgery in India
The liver is the largest internal organ serving very vital functions. In addition to its many functions, the liver can regenerate after damage o certain part. However, certain practices such as excessive drinking of alcohol may pose a risk to its regeneration capability thus leading to loss of part of the liver. Owing to this it is very important to take care of our livers. For some however, this is better said than done and before they know it end-stage chronic liver disease (also known as liver failure) sets in. At this stage liver transplant is advised. Liver transplant is the replacement of a damaged or diseased liver with a healthy one from a deceased or live donor. The liver is the second most transplanted major organ after the kidney and as such there are a large number of people on the waiting list.
Functions of the liver
The liver has complex functions that are crucial to the body. They include; synthesis of bile that aids in the digestion of fat and absorption of fat soluble vitamins A, D, E, & K, helps the body fight infections by destroying bacteria, breaks down and eliminates potentially toxic drug by-products from the body, breaks down food to generate energy for the body and it produces body proteins that have key functions such as blood clotting. In addition, it serves as a storage organ.
Causes of liver failure
Liver failure is as a result of severe liver damage. This may result from scarring of the liver due to persistent alcohol abuse over the years, primary biliary cirrhosis in which the bile ducts are damaged by the immune system, hepatitis that is caused by the hepatitis B and C viruses and biliary atresia in newborns where there’s damage, absence or blocked bile ducts. Inherited genetic diseases where there is deposition of copper in the liver or in instances where there is excess iron in the body liver failure may result. Another is the narrowing or scarring of bile ducts resulting in bile accumulation in the liver. Liver cancer is also a cause.
Types of liver transplant
Liver transplant can be done in any one of these four ways. Deceased donor liver transplant is where a liver from a recently dead person is transplanted to another. Living donor liver transplant involves removal of a section of the liver from a living donor to a waiting recipient. The remaining liver and the transplanted section have the capacity to regenerate and regrow back to a normal-size liver. Auxiliary transplantation in which the damaged or diseased liver remains intact until the transplanted sections have regenerated and assumed functions after which it is removed. Split donation is another type where a liver from a donor who recently died is split into two and each piece transplanted to a different person.
Complications that may follow liver transplants
Some of the complications are the body may reject the liver, the liver may fail to work within the first few hours necessitating an urgent subsequent transplant, bleeding, increased predisposition to certain cancers such as skin cancer, loss or reduced kidney function and increased infection risk.
Despite these few complications many beneficiaries of a transplant have lived up to 20 years.
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