What is the important details of liver transplant – before & after surgery?

Before surgery

Although the success rate is high, it is still a very difficult surgery. The whole operation takes an average of 6-12 hours. The surgeons remove the morbid liver and transplant the healthy liver of the donor. If everything goes well,  the patient can move on to the service from the intensive care unit in 1 or 2 days after the operation, and then they can be discharged on average after 10-15 days.

What awaits the patient after a liver transplant?

The body considers the new organ as a foreign tissue in transplants made from both, live donor or cadaveric transplant. For this reason, the immune system of the patient tries to reject this implanted liver.  Therefore, the patient needs to take immunosuppressive drugs during their lifetime. That’s why the patients should get regular checks done and the medication doses adjusted. Unless otherwise stated, medication intake should not be stopped and the dose regulation should not be changed. However, these drugs that suppress the immune system can make the person a little more sensitive to infections. Therefore, the patient needs to consult the physician even for minor complaints such as flu or new-onset diarrhea.

How will be your life after the transplant?

The main purpose of a liver transplant is to get the person back to a normal, active, productive life. Organ transplant patients usually describe themselves as reborn and they think that they have started a new life. Many celebrate the day of surgery as ‘Transplant Birthday’. It is important to understand that the recovery stage is a process that takes weeks. With the end of the first delicate quarter, which lasts about three months, almost all liver transplant patients return to their pre-ill life (work or school). Pregnancy and birth are possible after liver transplantation.

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