Liver problems occur due to disease or an improper lifestyle. The process of selection of the patient for doing the transplant depends on several conditions. They determine these on an as is where is basis at the hospital.
Function of the liver in the body
The liver is an important organ in the body that does many functions. They metabolise most of the proteins the body needs. They store many of the nutrients including sugar, minerals, and vitamins to use when needed. It removes the bacteria from the body and keeps the body healthy. They metabolise the nutrients in the body and convert them into energy. They produce most of the material needed for the clotting of the blood. Produces the bile needed to digest the fat. The body needs the fat to transport the vitamins. It removes the toxic by-products from certain medications.
Need for a liver transplant
One needs a liver transplant if one has one or more of the following conditions:
- Malformation of bile ducts
- Cirrhosis and chronic hepatitis
- Abnormal accumulation of protein in the liver
- Primary biliary cirrhosis
- Wilson’s disease
- Liver cancer
- Liver failure due to narrowing of the bile ducts
Due to the low liver transplant cost in India, many people come from abroad to India for their medical treatment.
Choosing the candidates
Specialists will determine whether a patient is eligible for a liver transplant through a procedure by a team. This team will consist of transplant surgeons, financial counsellor, and psychiatrist to help the patient, liver specialists, chemical dependency specialists, social worker, transplant coordinator, and anaesthesiologist.
At the hospital, they shortlist the patients as per how sick they are. The listing will include their medical condition, body size, and blood type. Blood tests (MELD in adults and PELD in children) help prioritise the list. Model of end-stage liver disease (MELD) or the Paediatric end stage liver disease (PELD) score has its basis on the INR, bilirubin, and creatinine blood tests.
Donor requirement for liver transplant
The donor is either one of the family members or a volunteer. They must follow certain conditions to qualify to become a donor.
- They should have good health.
- Testing is needed to assess the condition. This may include CT scans or MRIs and the process might take several weeks.
- Age of the donor must lie between 18 and 60 years.
- These donors must not look for financial incentives.
- They must have the same physical structure as the patient.
- Their blood type must match.
India as a medical tourism centre
India is developing into a medical tourism centre due to several reasons. First thing patients can notice when they consult the liver transplant surgeon India low cost and high success rate. The other thing is the excellent infrastructural facility such as the support by way of nursing staff and pharmaceutical section for the hospitals. In addition, the facility for stay is good and the local people are conversant with English which makes communication easy.
After the surgery, the patient needs to stay in the hospital until the doctors tell that he or she may leave. They will need to avoid lifting weights and doing any hard work for at least two weeks.