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Liver Transplant: Causes, Symptoms, Treatments And Recovery

Liver Care

Liver Transplantation Surgery

02 January, 2024

A liver transplant is one of the complex yet lifesaving medical procedures that involve the replacement of a diseased or damaged liver with a healthy liver from a donor. This is an inescapable surgery if the patient’s liver no longer functions or it deteriorates to the point where conventional treatments are ineffective.

Liver Transplant Causes

People with end-stage liver disorders who have serious problems typically need a liver transplant. Cirrhosis, persistent hepatitis, liver cancer, and a few metabolic diseases fall within this category. The liver is frequently permanently damaged by these disorders, making it less able to carry out vital tasks including detoxification, protein synthesis, and metabolism regulation. To know more about causes, symptoms and treatments of liver, visit the best liver transplant surgery hospital in India.

Liver Transplant Symptoms

The liver is a vital organ as it aids in several important liver transplant processes, including metabolism and its conversion of food into energy. It is also crucial to store energy as a fuel to use when there is a shortage or a strong demand. Additionally, the liver serves as a strong filter, removing toxins from the body. Liver disease or liver damage may have significant negative impacts on any or all of these functions. Thus, it's essential to identify the signs and symptoms at the earliest to take a proper measurement against it. Early diagnosis can help treat the majority of ailments.

Some of the symptoms are as followed:

  • Fatigue and weakness

  • Jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes)

  • Swelling in the abdomen and legs

  • Unexplained weight loss

  • Nausea and vomiting

  • Loss of appetite

  • Easy bruising and bleeding

Signs Indicating the Need for a Liver Transplant:

  • Ascites

Accumulation of fluid in the abdominal cavity

  • Encephalopathy

Mental confusion and changes in behaviour due to toxin buildup

  • Coagulopathy

Impaired blood clotting leading to easy bleeding

  • Portal Hypertension

Increased pressure in the portal vein causing varices and bleeding

Treatment Procedure


  • Evaluation

Thorough medical, psychological, and social evaluation to determine candidacy and prioritize patients based on the severity of their condition.

  • Donor Matching

Identifying a suitable donor, either deceased or living (usually a family member).

  • Preoperative Preparation

Addressing nutritional deficiencies and managing complications to optimize the patient's health before surgery.

During Surgery

  • Anaesthetic

A general anaesthetic is given to ensure the patient is unconscious and pain-free procedure.

  • Surgical Technique

The surgeon replaces the deceased patient's liver with the healthy donor's liver after removing the diseased liver.

  • Vascular and Biliary Connections

The replacement liver is attached to the patient's blood arteries and bile ducts to guarantee correct blood supply and bile flow.


  • Intensive Care

The patient is closely monitored in the intensive care unit (ICU) initially.

  • Immunosuppression

Medications are prescribed to prevent the body from rejecting the new liver.

  • Recovery and Rehabilitation

Physical therapy, dietary adjustments, and psychological support are provided to aid recovery.

Duration of Surgery and Recovery

The liver transplant surgery itself typically takes around 6 to 12 hours. However, the total duration of hospital stay and recovery can vary widely, ranging from a few weeks to several months, depending on the patient's overall health, complications, and how well they respond to treatment.

Consequences of Ignoring the Need for Liver Transplant

Failure to undergo a liver transplant when it is medically advised can lead to progressive liver failure, organ malefactions and eventually death. It can also hamper the quality of life ignoring the signs and symptoms of severe liver diseases. It also can increase the risk of infections, bleeding disorders and even reduce the capacity to perform the day to day tasks and activities.

A liver transplant is a critical intervention for those with end-stage liver diseases. The likelihood of a successful transplant treatment depends on recognising the symptoms, understanding the signs and timely evaluation. People with liver disorders are advised to engage closely with their team of liver transplant surgeons to determine the best treatment options based on their medical condition.