Hepatic or liver transplantation is a procedure where a diseased or injured liver is removed and replaced it with a healthy liver from another person, called a donor. If the liver is losing its working function it’s called a liver failure and a liver transplant can truly be a life savior (Expectations are at least at 50% survival rate for at least 5 years after the transplant with an acceptable quality of life)
Why is it needed?
Alcoholic liver disease (damage in the liver because of years of excessive drinking)
Liver Cancers (begin in the cells of the liver and not from another organ)
Nonalcoholic Fatty liver disease (too much fat is stored in the liver cells)
cirrhosis caused by chronic hepatitis C
Types of liver transplantation
There are three main ways a liver transplant can be carried out:
Deceased donor: the procedure is based on a liver that has been removed from a person who died recently. It’s not allowed for foreign patients.
Living donor: since live is a regenerative organ, a section of liver can be removed from a living donor, both the transplanted section and the remaining section of the donor’s liver are able to develop again to its past state.
Split donation: a liver is removed from a person who died recently and, as the name suggests, is split into two pieces where each is transplanted into a different person.
An important percentage of transplant patients are sensitized: having harmful antibodies which will attack foreign organisms including a transplanted organ from a living donor. These antibodies develop through a previous exposure to external tissue (similarly in cases of pregnancy, previous or blood transfusions.) The waiting period for sensitized patients is always longer since compatibility is a requirement.
Antibodies test is done through mixing the potential donor’s blood and the patient’s blood. This test is called a “crossmatch,” and shows how a recipient’s antibodies react with the potential donor’s ones.
The recipient’s antibodies would attach the donor’s which means the organ transplant procedure is not possible in this case.