Liver Transplant in India

Last Modified: September 22, 2020  |   Created on: June 7, 2020
Transplants

A liver transplant is a surgical procedure to replace the damage liver of the patient with an entire or portion of healthy liver from a matched donor. This surgery is required by people who have severe liver failure, which means their liver is unable to perform its normal functions in the body. It can lead to some serious complications and even be life-threatening. Liver transplant surgery is one permanent treatment option for such patient that can help them sustain life. 

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Liver Transplant Cost in India 

Liver transplantation in India is offered at a significantly lower cost in contrast to the USA and Western countries, but with equally good, if not better, quality of treatment. An international patient can save a good percentage of money on their overall expenditure if they choose to have surgery in India, instead of other countries. 

The cost of liver transplant surgery in India starts from USD 31000 and may go up to USD 35000 at the top hospitals in the country. In comparison, the cost in the USA range up to USD 580,000, and USD 110000 in the United Kingdom. This means that the liver transplant price in India is one-twentieth of that in Western countries. 

The overall price for Liver transplant may vary depending on various factors, but mainly on the transplant surgery(living/deceased), surgical technique used, and whether additional 

The cost also depends on the following:

  • Choice of hospital: The location and accreditation of the medical centre may influence the cost of surgery. The best liver transplant hospitals in Delhi and other cities are at par with the top medical facilities in the world. They offer the latest techniques and post-operative facilities to the patient. Some top hospitals of liver transplant include Indraprastha Apollo Hospital, FMRI, Medanta, and Max Hospital. Read Top 10 Liver Transplant Hospitals in India for more information. 
  • Surgeon’s experience: The years of medical service, skills, training and institution of medical qualification all contribute to the variation in surgeon’s fee. 
  • Room category: A variety of room choices, including single, twin-sharing, triple-sharing, and deluxe suite, are available at the hospitals. As a patient will have to spend a considerable time at the hospital post-operatively, the selection of room category is an important factor for cost. 
  • The choice of accommodation facility can also impact the overall expenditure. A number of options for hotels and guest houses are available for a person to choose based on their budget. It may range from USD 10 to USD 65 per day for good accommodation
  • The donor surgery expenditure is also an important consideration. Apart from the surgery itself, the expense for travel, food and accommodation will also be factored in for the cost. 

Lyfboat offers the most discounted and reliable quotes for Liver transplant in India, and even negotiate on your behalf. Simply send us your query and our coordinators will provide you a detailed treatment plan with entire package cost. We have an extensive network comprising the best Liver transplant surgeons in India who will provide their expert opinion for your case, during initial consultation. Our team works round the clock to provide you with effective solutions to your queries and address all your concerns timely. They help with travel and accommodation arrangements (conveniently near the hospital), and other facilities. 

Here is: Why Liver transplant in India is a great option?

India is one of the most sought after destinations for organ transplant destinations in the world. The country’s advanced healthcare system, supported by state-of-the-art infrastructure, the latest technology and a trained medical staff, provides a cost-effective option to the patients. These are major reasons why overseas patients prefer medical travel locations such as India for their treatment. They can not only expect a high quality of clinical services, but warm hospitality and a comfortable stay during the procedure.

The top hospitals across various cities, including Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad and others, offer a comprehensive liver transplant program for domestic and international patients. They have an excellent success rate for liver transplant surgery in India. The benefit of affordable liver transplant price in India is another lucrative reason for choosing this country.

For liver transplant recipient

Estimated cost of evaluation: more than USD 10,000

Surgical cost: USD 31,000 – 34,000

Approximate days of hospitalization: 21 days

Length of stay in the country: 6-8 weeks

 

For Donor

Age: 18-45 years

Hospital Stay for Donor: 10 days 

Length of Stay in India: 3 weeks 

How can Lyfboat assist you getting Liver Transplantation in India?

World's Most Trusted Medical Advisory & Discount Platform

Lyfboat is a free advisory platform; we do not charge any fees from patients. In fact, we negotiate the price that Indian hospitals offer. In some cases we are able to reduce the cost by negotiating upto 20% of what Hospitals generally offer. We advise the best treatment from the top hospital/surgeon at best price.

All the things that you should know about a liver transplantation:

Candidate for liver transplantation:

Patients who are recommended for liver transplant have end-stage liver failure commonly due to conditions such as chronic liver disease, including Hepatitis C infection, cirrhosis commonly due a previous history of alcohol use, acute liver infection, liver cancer, and hereditary diseases. 

In children, the need for liver transplantation is most commonly due to biliary atresia, a rare condition in newborn infants in which there is a blockage in the bile duct between the liver and the small intestine.

A candidate for liver transplantation must be free of:

  • Cancer in other parts of body (excluding liver cancer)
  • History of alcohol abuse for at least 6 months
  • Active substance abuse
  • Active infections
  • Certain psychiatric conditions
  • Other diseases or conditions that may increase the risk of surgery

Once a person is determined fit for the transplant, he/she will be put on a waiting list. Each candidate is given a sore depending on the evaluation – MELD score (model of end-stage liver disease) in adults and PELD score (pediatric end-stage liver disease) in children. Based on this score, they will be prioritized for receiving the organ. If the patient’s condition of the liver further deteriorates, the score is updated and the candidate moves up in the waiting list.

Types of liver transplant

Based on from where the donor liver is obtained, liver transplantation can be:

Living donor liver transplant:

A portion of liver from a healthy living donor is surgically taken and transplanted it into the recipient. This is possible due to the unique ability of liver tissues to regenerate and grow a full sized organ. Therefore, the donor as well as recipient liver parts grow to normal size within a few weeks.

Who can be a donor for liver transplant?

The donor can be a blood relative, spouse, friend, or an unrelated individual who matches the criteria for donation. The candidates have to undergo an extensive medical and psychological evaluations to determine their suitability for donation. 

Criteria of donation for liver transplant

Compatible blood type and body size of the donor and recipient are the two critical factors for donating liver to the patient. There is no need for other matching tests.

The donated liver will be tested before transplantation surgery to ensure it is healthy, matches the blood type, and is of right size. This is important to avoid post-surgery complications and increases the chances of the donated liver working in the patient.

Procedure for liver donation

Liver donation is a safe procedure. Almost 70% of a person’s liver can be safely removed, although much less is required for transplantation. The liver regenerates on its own and gains its original size usually within 2-3 weeks. There are no long-term side effects of donation. After the surgery, the donor will have to take medication for a few weeks, and then they can resume their normal life in 4-6 weeks. 

During the surgery, surgeons will remove a segment of the liver from the donor by making an incision in the abdomen. The specific portion of the liver that will be donated depends on the donor liver’s size and the recipient’s needs.

Deceased donor liver transplant:

The donor is a brain-dead (or cardiac death) who has viable organs for donation of organs. When a person’s brain has stopped functioning, but heart is still beating, then he/she is considered legally dead. The individual or next of kin must give consent for donation beforehand. Whole livers come from a deceased donor (also known as cadaveric donor) is extracted and preserved for transplantation. Generally, the identity of such a donor is kept confidential. The patient has to be on a waiting list to receive organ from a deceased donor. 

The liver transplantation surgery procedures can be of three types – Orthotopic transplantation (patient’s damaged liver is replaced with donor liver), Heterotopic transplantation surgery (donor liver is added without removing recipient’s liver) and Reduced-size liver transplantation (some part of patient’s liver is intact and donor liver part is added).

Before a liver transplant

A team of doctors from various specialities are involved in evaluation of a suitable liver transplant candidate. The evaluation includes a series of tests and review of medical history of the patient. The tests include blood tests, and imaging tests such as X – rays. These help doctors analyze patient’s condition and determine whether they need a transplant and risk of the surgery. Other tests to check the vitals organs such as heart, lungs, kidneys, and immune system, and mental health are also checked to ensure that it is safe to carry out the surgery.

If the patient is found eligible to receive liver transplant, they will be prepared for surgery. On the day of surgery, additional blood tests, and other tests such as electrocardiogram and chest X-ray will be done before the operation. In case of living donor liver transplant, both recipient and donor will be in operation room at the same time. If the donor liver is from a deceased person, the new liver will be prepared before transplanting into the patient.

Liver transplantation Procedure in India 

Liver transplant surgery can take 4 to 14 hours. 

During the procedure, the patient will be put under general anaesthesia. 

The surgeon will remove the patient’s liver or leave it intact, based on the procedure, and disconnect the damaged liver from bile ducts and blood vessels. The blood flow towards the liver is blocked or it is sent through a machine to redirect it to the rest of the body. The healthy liver is then placed and reconnected it to the bile ducts and blood vessels. The blood flow to the new liver is restored. A transplant surgery is a major operation and should be performed by a qualified and skilled surgeon only. 

Post-operative Recovery 

After the operation, patient is shifted to an intensive care unit where they are careful monitored for liver functions. Then, the patient is transferred to a normal ward, and a number of blood tests are carried out regularly. Normal eating will be gradually allowed, initially starting with clear liquids, then with the solid food as the new liver starts to function. Physiotherapy will start to help patient regain muscle strength. The anti-rejection and other drugs are initially given by intravenously, and then later can be taken orally. 

On an average, the length of hospital stay post liver transplant is two to three weeks. This time may vary, less or more, based on the performance of the new liver and the risk of complications.

Liver transplant rejection

After the liver from a donor is transplanted into recipient, there is a risk of organ rejection. The immune system of the patient considers new liver as a foreign object and triggers an immune response to attack the new organ. This can damage the transplanted organ. It can be an acute rejection, in which the rejection occurs rapidly or chronic rejection, if it occurs over a long period of time. Organ rejection may happen even after a close matching between the donor and patient, but chances are less.

Symptoms of liver rejection

Some possible signs and symptoms of a liver graft rejection include:

  • Fever over 100° F
  • Fatigue or excess sleepiness
  • Jaundice (yellow skin or eyes)
  • Dark (brown) urine
  • Swelling in the abdomen
  • Pain or feeling of tenderness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Itchiness 
  • Nausea and vomiting

However, there might be no symptom of rejection. 

The post-transplant care is focused on checking for signs of rejection through regular blood tests. It helps determine the early indicators for a liver graft rejection. Doctors test the blood for liver enzymes, which gives away the first sign of rejection. Initially, the frequency of these tests is high and it gradually decreases over the first month after a liver transplant. 

If rejection is suspected, a liver biopsy is done to confirm the diagnosis. 

How does immunosuppressants help prevent liver rejection after transplant?

Immunosuppressants are medicine that weaken the ability of immune system to attack and reject the new liver. These medications aim to suppress the immune system to prevent rejecting of the new liver. Immunosuppressants protecting the transplanted organ from body’s actions and decrease the risk of rejection. 

A variety of these drugs are available to block the immune system’s response, but they may work with different mechanisms to reduce the risk of rejection. The patient may need to take immunosuppressants exactly as prescribed for the rest of your life.

Outlook and success rate of liver transplant surgery in India

Majority of liver transplant surgery show favourable results. The best programs have almost 95% success rate for liver transplantation in India. Around 80 to 90 percent of transplanted livers have reported to work well after 1 year of transplant. In some cases, the liver may take a long time to start working properly. The failure of the liver can be of varying degrees with functions, but the patients usually remain well enough. If there are complications such as rejection of the new liver by the body, the transplant team will evaluate the condition and determine whether it needs to be replaced through a second or sometimes third transplant operation.

Life after liver transplantation 

After a complete recovery, most people resume their normal daily activities and work after a successful liver transplant surgery. The recovery period may vary for different people, depending on their original medical condition, episodes of complications, and overall health status. It will take some time, usually 3 months, before you can start performing all the tasks comfortably. The doctor will discuss the precautions that need to be taken during the recovery period.

Many people require 2 or 3 months before they go back to a regular life. However, it may take a year or more to benefit from the full effects of a transplant surgery.

Lifestyle changes that can be implemented post-transplant

Transplant recipients may need to make certain lifestyle changes to keep their new liver healthy. Some modifications include:

  • Eating a healthy, balanced diet, suggested by a nutritionist or dietitian during the transplant process
  • Quit smoking
  • Avoid alcohol
  • Take all the medications, including anti-rejection as prescribed
  • Attend follow-up visits 
  • Avoid eating raw or undercooked food such as eggs, meats, and seafood
  • Avoid eating unpasteurized foods
  • Avoid foods that are not good for the liver, such as fats, sugars, cholesterol, and salt
  • Avoid being in contact with people who are unwell as immunosuppressants make immune system weak and prone to infection
  • Limit contact with animals such as reptiles, rodents, insects, and birds
  • Avoid food items such as eating grapefruits and drinking grapefruit juice
  • Do not take part in strenuous activity for the first 3 months after the transplant surgery 
  • Consult your doctor before starting something new to be sure that it won’t harm

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