The hard part about a liver transplant is not the procedure itself, but the pre liver transplant preparation that you’ll need to take up. Depending on the hospital, you may be provided with a liver transplant patient guide that can help you when you’re preparing for the liver transplant procedure.
Pre Liver Transplant Surgery Preparation Basics
There are different types of preparation involved and these can be categorized as:
Pre Liver Transplant Preparation – Financial Preparation
As soon as you are on the waiting list for a new liver after clearing the liver transplant requirements, the first thing to do is take care of your finances. This will be needed to fund the surgery.
The cost involved in the surgical procedure might vary, as hospitals in the US charge around $35000 for the assessment and $30000 for the actual procedure.
Hospitals in countries like India charge a minimum of $22000 to $30000 for the procedure, and this will be inclusive of your stay and additional food charges. Liver transplants in India are much cheaper as compared to the US.
Several transplant units give sound financial advice. While opting for medical facilities in the UK, you can employ a financial advisor to help you out before the liver transplant procedure.
Pre Liver Transplant Preparation - Mental Preparation
Apart from finances, you should be mentally ready to accept the new liver that’s being donated and you’ll also need to be ready for the recuperation time as this procedure can take a month or two.
Studies show that at least 30% of the people who have just been accepted by the transplant board back out at the last minute due to poor pre liver transplant preparation.
The waiting period can be very hard for the patient and his family members who try and give it their best. As waiting for the big moment can stress you out, here are some of the things you can do to help reduce your anxiety levels.
- Have you meals as prescribed, exercise every day and talk to the coordinator for other special needs.
- Live normally, performing your everyday chores, and keep yourself occupied with studies or work. This will help you divert your thoughts and cause less stress.
- Talk to a friend, a spouse, a parent or a relative and share your feelings with them in order to emotionally get through the pre liver surgery phase.
Since the human body is complex, it is important for both the body and the mind to stay relaxed before you undergo major procedures like a liver transplant.
Take the support of your family and friends in order to get through this trying time in your life. An independent survey in the United States has shown that having a relaxed rest before the surgery can increase your success rate by about 10 – 15%.
Pre Liver Transplant Preparation – General Preparation
Be Available 24/7
You’ll get a call from your coordinator as soon as a donated liver becomes available. As there is no specific time for this, you are likely to get a call at any time possible. The transplant unit should be in a position to reach you whether you are at work, school or on vacation.
A smart thing to do would be to purchase a telephone with an answering machine so that you can check your messages once you get back.
Almost all transplant units provide a pager so that they can reach you at all times. Additionally you should give the telephone numbers of all main family members, neighbors and friends to the transplant unit.
This way, you can be contacted by any means possible. As the donated organ will decay after a while, there is a time window given to a patient before it is donated to someone else.
When you get a call regarding the availability of a liver, ensure that you follow the instructions given by the transplant unit. It is better to have a suitcase handy with all the things that you might need after surgery. Also, the list of all the people who should be contacted should be handed over to someone close.
Arrange for Instant Transportation
You can hire a driver if the transplant unit is close to your place. If it is far away, the coordinator will help you with all the required transport arrangements.
It is better to have the route and mode of transportation planned in advance to avoid last minute stress and confusion. If a flight is required to get to the transplant unit, talk to your coordinator about it and figure a way out in order to avoid a last minute rush.
Once you get through the pre liver transplant phase without any worries, you’ll be in a good position to take up the liver transplant surgery.