Liver Transplant Facts and Myths – Donor And Recipient Risks

Learning in detail about all liver transplant facts and myths before opting for the liver transplant procedure can help you make an informed decision.

Most people are scared at the very mention of the word surgery, let alone the concept of getting someone else’s liver transplanted into their bodies. Each surgery has its share of pros and cons, and it is important to weigh the pros against the cons and then make a critical decision and not just give into misconceptions.

Basic Liver Transplant Facts

If there is something wrong with a kidney, a dialysis unit can help in preventing further problems from occurring and if there is something wrong with the heart, a pacemaker will supply enough electrical impulse to help it pump your blood for you.

This way, the functions of these two organs can be replaced temporarily using modern science and technology. The liver, however, is different from these two organs and cannot be replaced by an artificial unit or device, unlike the kidneys and the heart. A liver transplant is inevitable in cases where acute liver failure occurs. Simply put, the liver is irreplaceable.

Liver Transplant Facts
People who opt for organ transplants face a higher risk for skin cancer

Liver Transplant Facts for Recipients

Listed below are a few misconceptions that liver transplant recipients generally harbor about liver transplants. You can read about these misconceptions to clear any doubts that you may have regarding the procedure.

  • Will I have to depend on lots of medication for the rest of my life?

If you have just undergone a liver transplant procedure, you will need to survive on medication to protect the new liver. This is because the body sometimes rejects the new organ transplanted as a foreign object. These medications however reduce both in dosage and number as time passes and the immune system gets used to the new liver.

  • I was an alcoholic and now have cirrhosis of the liver, is it possible for me to get a transplant?

The medical boards in most countries agree that an alcoholic has to be sober for at least a year before he can qualify for a deceased donor liver transplant. If you qualify under this stipulation then nothing can stop you from being put on a waiting list. If, however, you do not qualify to be put on the waiting list for a deceased or cadaver donor liver transplant, you can still opt for a living donor liver transplant.

Liver Transplant Facts for Donors

Liver Transplant Facts for Donors
Obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes are diseases recipients should watch out for

It is not only liver recipients who have doubts or misconceptions about the liver transplant facts, as even donors have their doubts. It is vital that these doubts about liver transplant donor risks are cleared before the procedure is actually carried out.

  • How will I live once they remove my whole liver out?

As it is impossible to live without a liver, your surgical team will not be doing this. The liver has an amazing ability to regenerate itself with the passage of time. This regeneration will be based on a person’s physique and natural ability to regenerate.

The transplant unit will remove only a part of your liver. According to research, it has been noted that close to 55% of your liver will be removed to transplant into the recipient’s body. This is true only for a liver that’s of average size, because for a large liver, as little as 40% can also be removed which would make the process of regeneration faster.

The transplant unit will be able to provide more information regarding the procedure right from the type of scalpel used to the type of incision made.

It is important to learn about liver transplant facts for you to take up the procedure confidently. Most doctors and medical practitioners encourage their patients and their family members to ask as many questions as possible to understand liver transplant requirements.