Liver Transplant Preoperative Details
Before proceeding with the surgery the doctors have to make sure that the patient is fit for the procedure. This is done by performing a series of tests and screening process. The patient might be prescribed certain medications, a week, or two before the surgery, to avoid any sort of infection during or after the surgery.
A patient will receive general anaesthesia before moving to the operation theatre and will sleep through the Liver transplant procedure.
Liver Transplant Operative Details
The liver transplantation is the procedure that actually consists of three operations.
- First Operation: Harvesting the Liver from the donor-For a liver transplant procedure, a patient requires a donor’s liver that is replaced with the patient’s defective liver. There are two types of liver donors:
- Deceased Donor (Cadaver): A donor is usually an unfortunate person who has suffered has suffered irreversible brain injury/ brain death or a living
- Living Donor: Liver comes with a capability of regeneration. Hence, a living donor can donate a part of its liver to another person in need. The team of doctors keeps the donor’s organ working with the help of medications and other "life support" devices. The team removes the donated organs and keep them alive using ice and special solutions until they can be implanted. For the liver, the transplant must take place within six hours of its removal.
- Second Operation: Removing the recipient's damaged Liver- Depending on the medical condition of the patient, the process of the removal of the damaged liver can be very easy or very complicated (especially when a patient has had previous liver surgery). The doctor makes a curved incision in the upper part of the patient’s abdomen and removes the patient’s liver.
- Third operation: The implantation of the donor’s Liver- The operation involves the final step of replacing the patient’s liver with the donor’s liver. The doctor after transplantation connects the suture (stitch) the new liver to the patient’s blood vessels and bile ducts.
- Liver Transplant post operative details-A patient has to spend 6 to 10 days in the intensive care unit for monitoring purpose. The recovery time for regeneration of liver following surgery takes around 5 to 7 weeks. After surgery, most people remain symptom-free and feel better. However, they have to take certain precautions and medication for a lifetime to improve their quality of life.