What is Liver Transplant?
Liver transplant as the term suggests is the process of removing a damaged liver from a person’s body and replacing it with a healthy donor liver.
The liver is an essential internal organ of the body. It performs many functions including filtration of the blood, metabolism, detoxification, protein synthesis, and storage of vitamins and minerals.
Any type of infection or damage to the liver can hinder all these processes and eventually can be lethal.
A liver transplant is often needed in case of chronic liver damage, but it can also be done for acute liver damage.
Some of the common reasons for chronic liver damage could be liver cirrhosis, fatty liver, hepatitis B and C and other alcoholic liver disorders.
This article is based on the cost of liver transplants in India, the process of liver transplant and the success rate of liver transplants, continue reading to know more.
Cost of liver transplant in India
The cost of liver transplant in India varies from Rs. 14,00,000 ($17,000) to Rs. 30,00,000 ($37,00).
This may depend on the severity of the condition and the location from where a person is getting the liver transplant done.
It is observed that different cities in India have different liver transplant costs.
Some of the major cities are mentioned below with the liver transplant cost in India:
India is the most affordable country to get a liver transplant as the cost of a liver transplant in India is way less than in any other developed country.
Lower prices do not conclude to compromising on the service, India is a developing country with world-class facilities and modern technology to provide the best treatment available.
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Who Needs a Liver Transplant?
There are several minor and major problems that may require the liver to be transplanted to live a healthy life.
In conditions like liver failure, a patient requires a liver transplant as it may get fatal if the condition worsens.
There are two ways in which a patient may require a liver transplant, one is when an acute liver failure has occurred due to an infection and the other is when a prolonged disease is the main cause of liver failure.
Patients with liver failure cannot be treated with any other treatment than a liver transplant.
Some of the disorders that Are treated via liver transplant are:
- Liver cirrhosis – The scarring of tissue cells in the liver, which is caused by excess consumption of alcohol, hepatitis, genetic disorders, or fatty liver diseases.
- Hepatitis – Chronic hepatitis such as B and c is one of the major causes of liver failure. hepatitis is an infectious disease that affects the liver cells and damages them, which eventually hinders the functioning of the liver.
- Liver cancer – Some of the liver malignancies such as hepatocellular carcinoma, hepatic adenomas, primary hepatocellular malignancy, and Cholangiocarcinoma. These types of cancers can lead to liver failure.
- Genetically inherited disorder – Some genetic disorders such as hemochromatosis and Wilson’s disease etc. are the cause of liver failure in many patients.
- Fulminant hepatic failure – Fulminant hepatic failure occurs under the influence of hepatic thrombosis or fulminant viral hepatitis.
Who is eligible for a transplant?
Before a patient is considered for a liver transplant, they must meet the eligibility requirements.
The patient who is suffering from hepatic failure is observed by the medical experts to check whether the patient is eligible to get a liver transplant or not.
Patients suffering from untreatable chronic or acute liver damage are cured with liver transplantation.
The process involves a diagnostic test before transplant to get assurance that the patient will be fine and is healthy to go under such complicated surgery.
The doctor will examine the patient and will make the final decision on whether the transplant is necessary. Apart from that, financial and emotional conditions should be balanced to undergo such complex surgery.
Who cannot have a liver transplant?
To know if a person is eligible for a liver transplant, they must know what can make them fall on the not eligible list. Some of the features of a non-eligible patient are
- Alcoholic disorders
- Cancer in any other organ
- Lung or heart diseases
- Any infection
- Brain dysfunction
- Substance abuse
These are some of the few things that may make you not qualify for a liver transplant. Consult a doctor beforehand.
Types of liver transplants
There are three ways in which the liver can be transplanted into a patient’s body. The following are the types of liver transplants:
- Orthotopic liver transplant –
In this process, a whole life of a deceased donor is removed completely.
The diseased liver is removed from the body of the patient and replaced with a healthy donor liver.
This healthy liver must be transplanted into the patient within 12 to 18 hours.
- Heterotopic liver transplant –
In the case, the patient’s liver is infected and there are chances that it can be cured after some time then this type of liver transplant is performed.
In this case, the donor’s liver is placed beside the original liver to support the mechanism and other functions of the liver.
Either the original liver heals, and the donor liver will shrink and disappear, or the original liver gets affected and shrivels whereas the donor’s liver stays intact.
- Reduced-sized liver transplant –
In this type of liver transplant, only a few portions of the original liver stay in the body of the patient while the donor liver majorly replaces the diseased liver. This type of liver transplant is majorly performed in children.
Before going through the process of a liver transplant, the patient’s overall health must be examined and analysed. Several tests must be taken beforehand to determine the adversity of liver failure and other common aspects. Some of the common tests are
- CT scan to get an image of the liver
- Doppler ultrasound to determine the rate of exchange of carbon dioxide and oxygen in liver
- Pulmonary function tests
- Cardiac tests
- General blood tests to check the clotting time, liver functioning and other common issues.
The patient’s overall health must be examined before the surgery to avoid any complications.
During the liver transplant, the patient is given general anesthesia to block the nerves and numb the pain of surgery.
After that, an incision is made on the abdomen area to remove the diseased liver from the patient’s body and replace it with a healthy donor liver.
The new and healthy liver is attached to the blood vessels and bile duct. After completely replacing the liver, the incision is closed carefully, and the patient is placed under observation.
After the liver transplant surgery, the patient is kept under observation for several days, to monitor the functioning of vital organs.
Blood tests are conducted to ensure the functioning of the new donor liver.
Other vital organs are also monitored for a few days. After the doctor feels that the patient is now doing fine, they will shift the patient from the ICU to the general ward.
It takes a few months to completely recover from a liver transplant. After discharge, the patient will be asked to visit for regular check-ups and take precautions.
The success rate of liver transplants is around 88% in India.
Even after the transplant, the patient may be required to visit the doctor for follow-up consultations or to observe for any side effects.
Medicines may be prescribed for some time. The overall life expectancy after one year of transplant is 87%.
Generally, it may take around 3 to 5 months for a patient to recover completely from a liver transplant.
Why choose India?
Hundreds of people from all over the world travel to India to get their treatment.
As India is one of the most visited countries for medical tourism, people from different countries prefer to get their treatment done in India, some of the major reasons for this are:
- One of the major reasons is the cost-effective liver transplant surgery. Liver transplant cost in India is the lowest as compared to other countries like the USA or UK. It is because the value of the currency is much less compared to dollars. In fact, the cost of a liver transplant in India is a fraction of the amount that may cost to get a liver transplant in other countries.
- The healthcare sector of India is one of the rapidly evolving fields in the Indian economy. It attracts patients from all over the world. The authority which takes care of organ donation and transplantation is closely monitored and has reliable results.
- India is a hub of the majority of multi-specialty hospitals. These hospitals provide world-class facilities that one can imagine. They have a specialized center for organ transplantation and their skilled and experienced doctors are the key to the great success rate of this complex surgery.
Liver Transplant Cost in Different Cities
The cost of liver transplants in India is quite different in different cities of India.
A liver transplant is a complex surgery that requires experience to perform this operation.
This type of surgery is best done in renowned hospitals. Some of the hospitals which offer their great services at a lower price are:
- Fortis Hospital, Gurgaon, Haryana
- Artemis Hospital, Gurgaon, Haryana
- Manipal Hospital, Dwarka, New Delhi
- HCG, Bangalore, Karnataka
- Fortis Hospital, Noida, Uttar Pradesh
- HCG, Mumbai, Maharashtra
All of these well-established hospitals are associated with Cancer Rounds. To get more information about liver transplant costs or consultation with a skilled doctor, contact us.