The liver is one of the most major organs in the human body. There is no known way to make up for its absence yet. Therefore, in the case of organ failure or to cure its insufficiency, Liver Transplant Surgery becomes crucially important.
This procedure replaces a liver that is diseased or failing with one that is normal and healthy, whole or partial. People who need these transplants have serious dysfunction because of acute or chronic liver failure.
Acute liver failure is said to have occurred when an absolutely healthy liver suddenly becomes ill as a result of massive organ injury. These patients urgently need transplants, because they can not live without them.
Chronic failure occurs when the regenerating ability of the liver is compromised by repeated injuries that lead to 'cirrhosis' and insufficient liver function. In such a case, the only permanent solution is a liver transplant.
It should be known that the liver is a miraculous organ, with every part regenerating to create a new whole of normal capacity. Often, a transplant requires that the donor's liver suits the type of tissue, size and blood group of the recipient. Donors may be brain dead donors, donors of cardiac death, or living donors.
There are three types of liver transplant which, depending on the circumstances, may be provided to the patient.
1. Living Donor Transplant:
A living donor transplant is a type in which the donor is a living, willing person, part of whose healthy liver is removed from either the left or the right side of the lobe. The left lobe is smaller than the right lobe and hence is suitable if the recipient is a pediatric patient whereas the bigger, right lobe is used in case of adults.
The diseased liver of the recipient is replaced with a lobe deemed suitable, making connections with bile ducts and blood vessels inside the body. The liver, both of the donor and of the recipient, regenerates itself quickly in a matter of a few weeks.
A live donor transplant is a method in which the donor is a living, willing person, part of whose healthy liver is removed either from the left or right side or from the lobe. The left lobe is smaller than the right lobe and is thus ideal if the recipient is a pediatric patient while the larger, right lobe is used by adults.
The recipient's diseased liver is replaced by a lobe deemed appropriate, allowing connections inside the body with bile ducts and blood vessels. Within a matter of a few weeks, the liver, both donor and recipient, regenerates itself rapidly.
2. Orthotopic Transplant
Orthotopic transplant is performed when the entire liver is obtained from a recently deceased donor who is free of infections, cancers and transmissible diseases; and placed in the recipient after removal of the diseased liver. This is the most widely adopted procedure.
3. Split liver transplant
Split liver transplants aid two patients simultaneously. A single, healthy deceased donor liver in this type is divided into parts left and right and implanted in two patients. A pediatric patient is the recipient of the smaller left lobe, while one of the larger right lobes is an adult. This is an advanced surgical procedure that simultaneously helps two patients.
The Liver Transplant Surgery includes the removal and preparation of the donor liver, the removal of the diseased liver or part of the liver and the implantation of the new organ. It must be ensured that the main liver connections are reestablished in such a way that the new liver or part of the liver receives maximum blood flow and can absorb the bile it releases. The exact technique is very complex, which relies on the patient's particular situation.