When does a patient require a liver transplant?
Liver transplant is a treatment for patients diagnosed with Liver Cancer, acute liver failure or end-stage liver disease caused by conditions such as Viral Hepatitis, Cirrhosis or liver damage from alcohol or drug abuse.
Some indications for liver transplant are:• Acute liver failure• Liver malignancy• Chronic non-cholestatic liver disease• Chronic cholestatic liver diseases• Metabolic liver diseases biliary atresia• Others
Symptoms of liver failure
Unless the liver damage is fairly severe or advanced, diseases of the liver are often "silent" and patients may not be aware of any problems. Different liver diseases may affect some functions more than others, resulting in variability between patients.
Some symptoms include:• Yellow discoloration of skin and urine (Jaundice)• Easy bruising and bleeding, initially from the gums• Massive bleeding from the gut• Fluid buildup in the abdomen, legs and lungs• Drowsiness, forgetfulness, lack of concentration, confusion and coma• Increasing sensitivity with alcohol and drugs• Serious infections
Eligibility of transplant
If your liver disease is progressive and liver transplantation may be the appropriate treatment, you will be referred to the Liver Transplant Team. Arrangements will be made for you to meet the Liver Specialist (Hepatologist) for an assessment.
A variety of tests will be carried out to confirm the diagnosis, assess the extent of your disease and gauge your suitability for liver transplantation. The assessment period may take up to 5-7 days in hospital.
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