Liver Transplant Success Rate in India

Last Modified: April 11, 2024  |   Created on: March 13, 2023

Recipients of liver transplants live for more than 10 years after the surgery. Many have been known to live for up to 20 years or more after the transplant. It is indicated that 90% of people with transplants survive for at least 1 year, while 70% of people may live for at least 5 years after the transplant.

Liver Transplant Success Rate in India

The liver is considered a vital and integral part of human well-being, majorly based on the function it performs.

In the case of liver disease where it progresses to a certain level, the functioning of the liver is badly or irreversibly impacted and it may not compensate for the demands of the body.

It is then declared a state of failure. No medical treatment may suffice the proper liver functioning or may not improve the liver function and is considered fatal.

A Liver Transplant also known as hepatic transplantation is the only resort to promote long-term survival and avoid other complications.

Liver Transplant Surgery is used to replace a damaged, diseased, or non-functional liver as the digestive process, and the detoxification process is entirely based on the healthy functioning of a liver.

In the liver transplant surgery:

  • The patient is placed under general anesthesia.
  • The doctor makes an incision in the abdominal area, removes the patient’s liver, and replaces it with another healthy liver from a donor. In some cases, a portion of a liver, rather than an entire liver, can be inserted.
  • For effective long-term results, it is critical to look for the skill of the surgeon, the infrastructure of the hospital, the latest technology and equipment, and a trained transplant team.

There are two types of liver failures –

  • Acute liver failure occurs suddenly (over a period of a few weeks) often due to an infection.
  • Chronic liver failure takes several months and years to occur due to prolonged exposure to chemicals, medicines and other factors.

Patient Testimonial: Shakila Khan from Trinidad and Tobago got successful Liver Transplant in India

Patient Shakila khan and her daughter are sharing their experience about how Dr. Surbhi and Lyfboat’s team helped them with all the logistics in India while their stay in India.

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When is The Liver Transplant Considered Successful?

Once a patient crosses five years of transplant, we consider them like a normal person as the symptoms and conditions they have are similar to those found in a normal person.

The Success Rate in India

India’s First Successful Liver Transplant Operation was way back in 1998, on a 20-month-old baby with biliary atresia. Back then in 1998, a part of his father’s liver was used for his transplant. considered to be India’s first case of a successful living donor liver transplant.

The liver is divided into eight parts; the left lobe is cut to be transplanted into babies. The liver has a unique property to regenerate the part that is cut for transplantation, up to 90% within 12 weeks.

This was first achieved by a private hospital in Delhi and was commemorated by the government of India on the 15th anniversary of the transplant by releasing a postage stamp in 2014. Since then, there’s been no looking back.

In India, liver transplant has gained recognition worldwide, owing to the expertise of globally prominent transplant surgeons and the most upgraded facilities and services available here.

Chronic liver disease may end up requiring the need to replace a patient’s diseased liver with a healthy one from another person. Liver transplantation in India is a surgical procedure that involves the process of treating severe liver disease, therefore, is essential to have a healthy liver for survival. The various vital functions of the liver include –

  • Metabolism of proteins, fats and carbohydrates.
  • Production and excretion of bile (required for digesting fats).
  • Excretion of drugs, hormones, bilirubin and carbohydrates.
  • Synthesis of proteins and enzymes.
  • Converting ammonia to urea.
  • Regulation of blood clotting by breaking down old and damaged blood cells.

Failure of the liver to perform these functions may lead to problems like liver failure or liver insufficiency. Liver transplant in India is successfully performed for both acute as well as chronic liver failure cases.

Acute liver failure results from a severe injury to the liver caused by infections, drug reactions, intake of certain toxins or overdose of acetaminophen.

Whereas, chronic liver failure occurs due to recurring injury and repair of the liver cells over a period of time as it may scar the liver permanently. When the liver is not able to repair itself and results in end-stage scarring, the condition is termed as cirrhosis.

Causes of cirrhosis include:

  • Alcohol abuse
  • Chronic Hepatitis B or chronic Hepatitis C
  • Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease
  • Autoimmune Hepatitis
  • Biliary atresia, liver disease in newborn
  • Metabolic disorders

Whether or not the liver transplant could be a success and it would extend a person’s life is the basis of the decision the surgeon takes, before granting a liver transplant.

The life expectancy after a liver transplant depends on several variables and certain characteristics will be contributing to the survival of a liver once it’s transplanted in a patient:

Related to the patient:

  • Patient age:

When considering the patient factors, it has been postulated that, if the donor is more than 60 years of age, the rejection rates of the transplanted liver will be relatively more than that of a donor aging below 60 years of age.

Related to the donor:

  • Weight and gender:

It has also been noticed that if the donor weighs more than 100kgs, the chances of survival can be less in the transplanted liver.

Similarly, if there is a mismatch in the gender of the donor and the recipient, the liver transplants show lesser success rates than when the two individuals match in their genders.

Related to the surgical technique

  • Time gap:

The time gap between the extraction of the liver to transplantation also plays an important role when it’s about the success of the surgery. Researchers are suggesting that a liver that has spent more than 12 hours before transplantation in cold storage are having a lesser survival rate than the ones which has a lesser transit time.

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.

On average, recipients of liver transplants live for more than 10 years after the surgery. Many have been known to live for up to 20 years or more after the transplant. It is indicated that 90% of people with transplants survive for at least 1 year, while 70% of people may live for at least 5 years after the transplant.

They usually have excellent results in terms of a good quality of life, resumption of normal activities including schooling and jobs, and reduced need for hospitalization as compared to those who do not undergo the procedure.

Facts & Figures

The success of liver transplant programs in India has also been based on some very important findings:

  • Surgeons in India after being trained in the West have replicated and indeed improved upon the surgical techniques that they learned there.
  • The quality of the general intensive care and the pediatric intensive care provided to these patients has improved immensely.
  • With increasing experience, the quality of post-transplant care has also become standardized.
  • The armamentarium of drugs used for immunosuppression has improved with newer drugs, which are less toxic and more effective. This has led to better management of immunosuppression and thus improved survival.
  • In the last five years, there has been a dramatic growth in Liver Transplantation in India. There are 6 well-established pediatric liver transplant programs in the country. Two programs perform more than 30 transplants each year.
  • The total number of pediatric liver transplants performed in India has now exceeded 350. Pediatric patients constitute about 10% of the total liver transplants being performed at the two busiest programs. More than 95% of these transplants are living-related.
  • About 75% of Liver Transplants are for cholestatic liver diseases, mainly biliary atresia.

Today, more than 1800 liver transplants happen in India every year, drawing people across the globe to mark and add yet another success story.

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Dr. Surbhi Suden is one of the founders of Lyfboat and a doctor with a renowned name in the Medical tourism industry. She has been working with international patients since 2008 and is a deeply committed professional with a long term vision of transforming the current healthcare scenarios.
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