Liver transplant is the only treatment option available for end-stage liver diseases. Patients of liver cancer, cirrhosis, fibrosis, and acute or chronic liver failure ultimately need liver from a donor. For many, the donated liver is the only hope of a second chance at life. Liver transplantation is a relatively new, fairly complicated, and very advanced form of life-saving surgery. Currently, both deceased and living donor liver transplants are performed globally. But the problem remains the same as for all types of organ transplants, long queues of awaiting patients with very few available livers from deceased donors. There is a large gap in no of patients waiting for liver transplant and no donors. The picture is more gloomy in third world countries like Pakistan.
Living donor liver transplant can bridge this gap rapidly, with not only better outcomes but also with the minimum waiting time. Deceased donor liver transplant had been the classic choice for liver transplant in the past. Although carrying the added benefit of using a deceased donor’s liver for two recipients simultaneously, with the undeniable drawbacks.
- Very few deceased donor livers are available
- Unlike kidney failure patients, that can be put on dialysis until a donated kidney is available for transplant, liver failure lack any such option. So the only option remains, is the immediate liver transplant. Deceased donor livers are hard to find with long waiting lists, so liver transplants are prioritized according to “Model for end-stage liver disease”.
- This priority system help reduces deaths on the waiting list but also requires patients to be critically ill ( in fact on the verge of death) to be qualified for a life-saving transplant.
- Without a suitable and timely transplant, families have to bear the tragedy of seeing their loved ones inching near death with each passing day.
Living donor liver transplant:
Living donor liver transplant is the most viable option in such a situation. Our liver has the wonderful ability to regenerate itself. Using this potential as much as 60% of a person’s healthy liver is removed and transplanted into the recipient. Both the donor and recipient’s liver will grow to their normal size and function within a few weeks (as little as 6 weeks often). As much as 70% of the healthy liver has been removed with wonderful subsequent regeneration to its full size and potential.
Living donor liver donations carry multiple benefits, most notable among them are
- Most donors know their recipients, often they are family members or close friends. So the decision of donation is rapid and chances of compatibility are higher.
- Living donations eliminates the waiting time needed for the availability of the deceased’s liver, so the patient receives a life-saving transplant before his/her condition worsens. A living donor can jump the line and turn things around.
- A transplant from living donations go more smoothly with fewer complications.
- This is a gift of a lifetime, a life-saving act, a sadaqa Jaria and a source of immense reward in the hereafter.
More about liver transplant:
Despite these benefits, living donor liver donations are rare, in fact only 5% of all liver transplants. In Pakistan alone, more than 2 million (some analysts claim more than 2.5 million) will ultimately need a liver transplant. Nearly 10000 Pakistanis die of liver failure every year waiting for liver donations. This is partly because the surgery can frighten people. And largely because of misconceptions/lack of knowledge surrounding living donations.
Living donor transplant a very complicated surgery and needs robust knowledge and experience. we have the expertise that is unparalleled in the local market. We pioneered living donor liver transplant, before us the only option was to travel abroad for this type of surgery.
Living donor liver transplant does not carry any risk in itself and the matching criteria are straightforward. Anybody between the ages of 18 to 55, sufficiently healthy, not extremely obese. And with blood group matching the recipient can volunteer for donation. Studies show that long term outcomes for both donor and recipients are good or better. There is no evidence that liver donations shortens the life span or increases the chances of liver diseases of the donor in any form.
Details for liver transplant donor:
This April Let’s pledge to Clear our doubts and misconceptions about living donor liver donations, encourage our friends and families. Educate the masses about the utmost importance of liver donations. Liver transplant surgery speaks volumes, see the nearly dead patients after successful transplant, and you will not recognize them, looking like new people, color in their faces, muscle mass, enthusiastic, vigorous, energetic, and teeming with new hope of a new life. To see what happens with the miracle and generosity of living donation is unbelievable.
For any information and further assistance please contact us
Dr. Faisal Dar (Pakistan Kidney and Liver Institute, Lahore)
Call us at: 0341–0543883, 042-111 117 554