Liver Transplant Programme - Eligibility Criteria, Common Conditions by Dr Kishore G S B
How are candidates for liver transplant determined? Or Can anyone with liver problems get a transplant?
Liver transplant is indicated at a stage when the liver is no longer able to support the normal functioning of the body. This can occur acutely over a period of hours or days when it is called acute liver failure, occur over a period of months to years when it called chronic liver failure or be a combination of the two. Liver transplant is indicated when the chances of surviving without the operation are low and the patient is reasonably fit enough to undergo the operation.
What are the common conditions that can affect the liver and lead to a transplant?
The liver can be affected due to viral hepatitis (B, C, A, E), alcohol intake, autoimmune diseases, biliary diseases like primary biliary cirrhosis, primary sclerosing cholangitis, extrahepatic biliary atresia, genetic conditions like Wilson’s disease, hemochromatosis, veno occlusive disease (Budd-Chiari syndrome) and in some instances due to on apparent cause (cryptogenic cirrhosis). Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) limited to the liver and meeting certain criteria is another common indication for liver transplantation.
How is the transplant decision made? Is there a way to assess if the patient is ready for a liver transplant?
Once the indication for transplant is clear, the patient undergoes a series of tests to objectively determine the risk associated with the procedure. This involves assessment of function of various organs like the heart, lung and kidneys, actively ruling out any focus of infection and identifying areas that need optimization. After this a discussion is held in a multidisciplinary meeting of various specialists. The patient and the treating team then make an informed decision regarding the liver transplantation.
How much will the liver transplant cost? What about Health Insurance?
Please meet the financial counsellor, transplant co-ordinator for details of the liver transplant package and insurance coverage
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