Liver Transplants: What Potential Recipients Should Know

If you or a loved one is dealing with chronic liver disease, it can be a very stressful situation. In some cases, the only cure for liver disease is a liver transplant, which is a major operation but often worth it in order to regain health. This is a major decision, however, and there are many variables to consider, including the following:

The Ideal Candidate

The ideal candidate for a liver transplant is anyone who will not survive without this procedure. The doctor will view each candidate in order to determine who will best benefit from a new liver. Factors will include how diseased the liver is, the likelihood of survival after the operation, and the prognosis for recovery from the operation. In many cases, those who meet these qualifying factors will be placed on the transplant list.

Cancer Patients

Many may wonder whether or not cancer patients are considered candidates for a liver transplant. The answer is yes, liver cancer patients can be eligible for a transplant. In some instances, a transplant will stop the cancer completely if it is fully contained in the liver. Cancer patients often take a higher place on the transplant list in order to prevent the spread of the cancer to the rest of the body.

Age Range of Ideal Candidates

The ideal age for liver transplant is generally any age of the patient who meets the qualifications. Children to elderly citizens can have a transplant it the doctor believes it will benefit the patient.

Source of the New Liver

You may also be wondering about the source of the new liver. The new organ will come from organ donors. The liver will be procured in an operating room while the donor is kept alive on a ventilator. It will them be quickly transferred to the hospital and transplanted into the patient.

Although not seen as frequently, there are also living donors who can provide a portion of a liver that will regenerate in the recipient. The donor would have to be a perfect match in order for this to be a possibility. This procedure is typically more common in transplants from adults to children.

Liver disease can be curable but it is crucial to remember how hard the recovery can be. The patient will have to take medications for life in order to not reject the liver. However, this can be a lifesaving procedure that can be worth it in order to save a life. For more information about the procedure, contact a physician.