Liver transplantation or hepatic transplantation is the replacement of a diseased liver with the healthy liver from another person. Liver transplantation is a treatment option for end-stage liver disease and acute liver failure, although availability of donor organs is a major limitation.

Liver is the largest internal organ in human body, which weights about 3 pounds in adults. It is located on the right side of abdomen. The liver has 2 main lobes – the right lobe and left lobe, both of these are made up of thousands of lobules. The lobules are connected to small ducts, which connects with larger ducts which finally forms the hepatic duct.


The liver performs many important but complex functions in the body. Some of the functions of liver are:


  • Produces most of the proteins which a body needs.
  • Breaks down or Metabolizes nutrients from food which produces energy.
  • Stores vitamins, sugar and minerals and release glucose as needed.
  • Produces bile, which is a compound needed to digest fat and to absorb vitamins.
  • Produces substances that regulate blood clotting.
  • Removes bacteria from the blood which fights infection.
  • Clears toxic byproducts of few medications.


The liver regulates most chemical levels in the blood and excretes a product called “bile,” which helps carry away waste products from the liver. All the blood leaving the stomach and intestines passes through the liver. The liver processes this blood and breaks down the nutrients and drugs into forms that are easier to use for the rest of the body.

Early symptoms include: Loss of appetite, nausea, fatigue and diarrhoea. However, these initial symptoms of liver failure are that can be of any other condition or sickness also. Because of this It becomes initially difficult to diagnose a liver failure patient in initial stages.


Once the diseases progresses the symptoms become more aggressive and serious which require immediate medical attention. Some of the symptoms include – Jaundice, Swollen abdomen, mental instability or confusion, sleepiness, restlessness.


A liver transplant is usually recommended when the liver has been damaged to the point that it cannot perform its normal functions, also known as an end-stage liver disease (ESLD). ESLD is a serious, life-threatening liver dysfunction, which may result from various conditions of the liver.


Some diseases that may progress to ESLD include, but are not limited to, the following:


Liver Cirrhosis – Cirrhosis is a long-term disease in which healthy liver tissue is replaced with scar tissue, eventually preventing the liver from removing toxins and poisonous substances.


Hepatitis – Blood-borne viruses, including hepatitis B and hepatitis C, which can sometimes cause extensive liver damage.


Biliary Atresia – A condition in which the bile ducts are absent or have developed abnormally.


Primary Biliary Cirrhosis – a long-term liver disease in which the bile ducts in the liver become damaged.


Alcohol-Related Liver Disease – where the liver becomes scarred because of years of persistent alcohol misuse.


Liver Cancers – These are primary tumors (that start in the liver) that have not spread outside the liver.


There may be other reasons for your doctor to recommend a liver transplant. A liver transplant may NOT be done if you have other chronic illness, such as certain infections, heart, lung, or liver disease, metastatic cancer or other life-threatening diseases, noncompliance with the treatment regimen, or alcohol consumption.

Treatment for Liver Transplant in India begins by identifying the donor. In most cases, the liver belongs to a deceased body but sometimes, even a living person can donate their liver. These cases are also called a Cadaveric donation. It is when a family member of a brain dead person wishes to donate brain dead persons liver before life saving supports (ventilators etc) are discontinued. Such situation happens after an accident or brain hemorrhage and patient comes to the hospital and is declared brain dead by the doctors.


The team of doctors undertaking your case then conducts a variety of tests before deciding to place your name on a waiting list. The doctors usually give you a score called the Model for End-Stage Liver Disease (MELD) score which determines how serious the situation and where your position is on the waiting list. It also depends on how good a donor match is found for your body.


The Liver Transplantation Process can be broken down into three steps:


Pre Surgery – Patient and donor need to undergo serious of investigations / tests. Pre-anesthetic checkup and briefing on the surgery and its outcome is given to the patient and donor by the chief surgeon / team member.


Surgery – Liver transplantation is a surgical procedure in whichsegment of diseased liver of the patient is removed and liver from a healthy living donor is implanted into patient (recipient). The complete operation takes about 8-10 hours to complete. For donor and recipient both the liver segments grows back to normal size in a few weeks.


Post Surgery – Patient is taken into recovery room after surgery and then to the ICU. Patient is kept on ventilator for 24-48 hours and gradually ventilator / respirator is phased out.


International guidelines says that, any patient suffering from liver cirrhosis whose life expectancy is assessed to be less than 1 year may be considered for liver transplant.


If liver transplantation is done on time the success rate is around 80%. Many patients come for Liver transplant in India from all over the world.


Other Factors to consider for donors:


  • The donor must donate his / her liver by own will and should not be under any pressure.
  • Age of the donor should be between 18-55 years.
  • Donor and recipient blood group needs to be the same
  • Donor liver structure wise and function wise should be normal
  • Donor must be a close relative of recipient

When does patient require Liver Transplantation ?

Liver transplantation surgery is performed when the liver of sick person stops functioning normally. Liver failure can be acute failure (sudden failure) or after liver getting infected or getting complications from some medicines.


How long does the patient require hospitalization for?

Patient is expected to be hospitalized for roughly 3 weeks and donor for 1 week.


What is the total time duration for recovery?

It takes anywhere from 6 months to 1 year for a complete healing after transplant surgery. Normal activities such as joining back office may be started in 2-3 months liver transplantation.


We have different liver transplant cost in India based on the patient condition. To get more details on our liver transplant package, you may make an appointment or contact us.

Send us your details and we will find the best Liver Transplant doctors and hospitals for you!





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