FAQ’s About Liver Transplant Surgery

Liver Transplant Surgery - Healthlifenews

FAQ’s About Liver Transplant Surgery

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A liver transplant is a procedure in which a diseased liver is replaced with a healthy liver from someone else. It is possible to transplant an entire liver or just a portion of one. A healthy liver is almost always obtained from a recently dead organ donor. A healthy person may give a portion of their liver once in a while. 

A live donor could be a family member. It might also be someone who isn’t related to you but has the same blood type as you. People who donate part of their liver can live healthy lives with the left liver. The liver is the only organ in the body that can replace tissue that has been lost or damaged (regenerate). 

The donor’s liver will quickly recover to normal size post-surgery. The component you receive as a new liver will also expand to its normal size in a few weeks.

Life after Liver Transplant

The number of people who survive after a liver transplant is higher than it has ever been, and the vast majority of them go on to live active lifestyles. A patient’s life expectancy after a liver transplant can increase up to 10 years or more.

This article is for patients who had a liver transplant surgery or planning to get one in the future. It serves as a resource for information you may need in the months and years ahead to help you adjust to life after a liver transplant.

Here are some questions are in mind to know about the life after a liver transplant:

Who will get benefit from a liver transplant?

Acute liver failure is common in those who need liver transplants, but chronic liver failure is more common. The liver has been repeatedly injured and repaired in chronic liver failure, usually over a long period. 

A previously healthy liver is damaged, which results in liver insufficiency, known as acute liver failure. Viral hepatitis, autoimmune illnesses, alcohol abuse, obesity, metabolic problems, genetic liver diseases, liver cancer, and other diseases can cause chronic liver failure. 

Cirrhosis is a permanent and advanced stage of scarring in which the liver can no longer repair itself. Transplantation is currently the sole cure for liver failure because no device or machine can reliably perform all of the activities of the liver. Medications can help reduce liver failure symptoms, but liver transplantation is the only long-term solution.

What can you expect about quality of life after a liver transplant?

It will be most challenging for the first three months after a transplant. The body is getting used to the new liver and all the medications required to keep it healthy. Each patient is carefully prepared for discharge by the transplant team. Patients can care for themselves, with some limitations, by the time they are discharged from the hospital. 

After a transplant, most patients can return to work after 3 to 6 months. It is possible to participate in sports and obtain healthy exercise, socialize, and travel for work and pleasure. A liver transplant recipient is anticipated to live a normal life.

What happens once you have a Liver Transplant?

During transplant surgery, the diseased liver is replaced with a healthy liver provided by a donor. The donor’s blood type and body size must be compatible with the individual who will receive the transplant. 

It takes to do a liver transplant, usually between 4 and 12 hours and 2-3 weeks stay in the hospital. 

What is the normal post-surgery pain level?

Although there is pain after liver transplant surgery, it is usually not as severe as it is after other abdominal surgeries. Because nerves are severed after the initial abdominal incision, the skin around the abdomen becomes numb. 

These nerves regrow during the next six months, and sensation returns. Back pain caused by the time spent on the operation table is the most common post-transplant issue. Each patient has been prescribed the right pain medication by the team.

How long does a liver transplant take to recover from?

The speed with which a patient recovers after a liver transplant is determined in part by how sick the patient was before surgery. After a liver transplant, most patients are admitted to the hospital for seven to ten days. Individuals normally heal at home after that before returning to work or school after three months.

Is it possible for you to return to work after the transplant?

Yes, after a transplant, individuals are encouraged to return to work. Returning to work is usually possible after around three months. As they re-acclimate to the workplace, some patients will require light-duty assignments. 

Because the disabling condition has been treated, disability is usually not granted for more than six months after a liver transplant unless there are complications. Patients should think about their long-term employment goals from the beginning of the transplant procedure so that they can return to work quickly and avoid losing their health insurance coverage.

How long does the average individual live after a liver transplant?

However, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), patients who have undergone a liver transplant from a deceased donor have the following typical survival rates: One year after surgery, 86 percent of patients are still living. Three years after surgery, 78 percent of patients are still living.

What should you not do after a liver transplant?

Your diet should be modest in sodium, cholesterol, fat, and sugar after a liver transplant. It is critical to stay away from alcohol to avoid damaging your new liver. Do not consume alcoholic beverages or cook with them.

How do people react to having their livers transplanted?

For the first 1 to 2 weeks after surgery, your stomach and side will be sore. You may also have numbness around the cut (incision) made by the doctor. It is normal to feel fatigued during recovery. It could take 2 to 4 months for your energy levels to recover to normal.

Is it possible to exercise after having a liver transplant?

After eight weeks, if your recovery is progressing well, you will likely be advised to begin a moderate activity. Walking, jogging, swimming, or cycling are all options. Most sports and activities are permissible; however, heavy contact sports (rugby, martial arts, boxing) should be avoided because they may damage your liver.

Is it true that after a liver transplant, you will gain weight?

Weight gain and metabolic syndrome are common among liver transplant recipients. This is due to various factors, including improved diet, immunosuppression, and reduced stress, as well as an improvement in the catabolic condition.

Bottom line

Finally, these are some questions that come to mind when someone is undergoing a liver transplant. 

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