Liver transplantation is the replacement of a diseased liver with the healthy liver from another person.
Liver transplant is a live saving treatment for patients diagnosed with liver cirrhosis, in cases where the only option is to have a liver transplant. Transplants performed by using livers donated from people who have lost their lives are commonly known as cadaveric liver transplants. Cadaveric donations are taken from people who are brain dead. The number of cadaveric donations is very low in our country compared to western countries, resulting in loss of patients who might have been saved otherwise. Although recent campaigns have helped increase public awareness, a lot is still needed to be done to this end.
The other alternative is performing transplants using livers from live donors. Tests and examinations are conducted on live donors who wish to give a part of their liver to a relative or a loved one and the half of their liver is transplanted to the patients if they are found to be medically suitable for the surgery. The size of the part of the liver to be transplanted to small children or babies is relatively smaller. The other half of the liver that is left in the donor’s body grows larger to pre-operation size in a few months. Post-operation progress differs between individual patients. Patients suffering various diseases that cause liver cirrhosis need liver transplants. The general condition of the patient may vary prior to the operation. Therefore, patients suffering frequent diseases such as hepatitis B or C shall be closely monitored by the gastroenterohepatology polyclinic. .
The primary objective must be to treat the disease. However, if the patient develops liver cirrhosis despite all efforts, they shall apply to the organ transplant center without delay under close monitoring. The list of diseases leading to liver cirrhosis is long and constitutes the subject of another article.