Liver Transplant Surgery
Why Liver is Important
Your liver is the largest organ inside your body. It is also one of the most important. The liver has many jobs, including changing food into energy and cleaning alcohol and poisons from the blood. It is a vital organ located in the upper right-hand side of the abdomen. Somewhat larger than the size of a football and weighing about 2-3 pounds, it performs numerous functions for the body: converting nutrients derived from food into essential blood components, storing vitamins and minerals, regulating blood clotting, producing proteins and enzymes, maintaining hormone balances, and metabolizing and detoxifying substances that would otherwise be harmful to the body. The liver also makes factors that help the human immune system fight infection, removes bacteria from the blood, and makes bile, which is essential for digestion.
The liver has many important functions that keep a person healthy. It removes harmful material from the blood. It makes enzymes and bile that help digest food. It also converts food into substances needed for life and growth. The liver gets its supply of blood from two vessels. Most of its blood comes from the hepatic portal vein. The rest comes from the hepatic artery.
There are many kinds of liver diseases. Viruses cause some of them, like hepatitis A, hepatitis B and hepatitis C. Others reason can be the result of drugs, poisons or drinking too much alcohol, if the liver forms scar tissue for the reason that of an illness it is called cirrhosis. Jaundice, or yellowing of the skin, can be one symptom and sign of liver disease. Liver cancer is sometimes called silent disease because in an early period and stage it often does not cause symptoms.
What is liver transplantation
Liver transplantation is surgery to remove a diseased or injured liver and replace it with a healthy whole liver or a segment of a liver from another person, called a donor. A successful liver transplant is a life-saving treatment for people with liver failure, a condition in which the liver no longer works as it should.
A healthy liver is necessary for survival. A healthy liver can regenerate most of its own cells when they become damaged.
Who needs a liver transplant
People with either acute or chronic liver failure may need a liver transplant to survive.
1. Acute liver failure (ALF) happens suddenly. Drug-induced liver injury (DILI) is the leading cause of ALF in the United States. The most common cause of DILI is an overdose of acetaminophen (Tylenol).
2. Chronic liver failure, also called end-stage liver disease, progresses over months, years, or decades. Most often, chronic liver failure is the result of cirrhosis, a condition in which scar tissue replaces healthy liver tissue until the liver cannot function adequately.