Liver Transplant Cost in India

Last Modified: October 3, 2019  |   Created on: July 10, 2018
Transplants

“The cost of liver transplant starts from $31000. The liver transplant hospitals in India promise unparalleled health treatments at low-cost packages.

The cost of liver transplant surgery in India starts from USD 31,000. The liver transplant hospitals in India promise unparalleled health treatments at relatively lower cost compared to the rest of the world. The success rate of liver transplant surgery in India ranges between 85% and 90%, which is as high as that offered by the developed countries in the west.

The following table indicates the cost of Liver Transplant around the world:

Cost of Liver Transplant in India, Germany, Singapore, and USA
IndiaGermanySingaporeUSA
$31000$300000$400000$600000

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What are the factors that affect the cost of Liver Transplantation in India?

Some of the factors that can affect the liver transplant surgery cost are:
  • Location and status of the hospital
  • Surgeon’s fee
  • The type of surgery
  • Room category
  • Post-operative recovery period
  • Long-term medications such as anti-rejection medicines
The total cost of liver transplant surgery in India is favorably economical even after adding the expenses for medications, hospital stay, etc.  The cost may vary for different hospitals depending on certain factors but remains within a reasonable range.

Why People Choose India for Liver Transplant Surgery?

India is a one-stop destination for foriegn patients who are looking for top medical facilities, experienced surgeons and cost-effective liver transplant surgery.

The healthcare sector in India has evolved as a global attraction for patients from all around the world. Complex procedures like organ transplantation in India are closely regulated by authorized bodies and have reliable clinical outcomes.

The top multi-specialty hospitals have specialized centres for liver transplantation programs that offer all types of liver transplant procedures including Living-donor, cadaveric (deceased), swap liver transplant and ABO incompatibility liver transplantation to the patients. The liver transplant doctors in India are experts who have rich experience and knowledge in transplant surgeries. A multidisciplinary team of trained specialists and english-speaking nurses provide holistic care to the liver transplant patients.

Another major factor for India’s popularity amongst international patients is the cost of liver transplantation. Medical treatment in India costs much less than other countries and there are several internationally renowned hospitals that offer budget-friendly cost packages with no compromise on the quality and standard of services.

If you are looking for a successful liver transplant in India, Lyfboat can connect you with the best hospitals and surgeons in the country. We represent a number of hospitals across all major cities, including Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore, Kolkata, and others. The dedicated team at Lyfboat will be happy to assist you throughout the process, from arranging consultations with the best doctors, providing budget-friendly cost-estimates at different hospitals to travel related assistance.

When is a Liver Transplant required?

Liver transplant is best advised when a person suffers from liver failure which can be a life-threatening condition. There are two types of liver failures – Acute liver failure which occurs suddenly (over a period of a few weeks) often due to an infection,  and the other is chronic liver failure which takes several months and years to occur due to prolonged exposure to chemicals, medicines and other factors. Generally, a patient with chronic liver failure is treated with liver transplant procedure.

Liver failure may occur due to the following conditions:

  • Chronic hepatitis (B and C)
  • Liver Cirrhosis – scarring of liver tissue that leads to failure of liver functions. Causes include excess alcohol consumption, chronic hepatitis, fatty liver disease  and inherited genetic disorders.
  • Autoimmune liver diseases that affect the bile duct such as Primary biliary cirrhosis (immune system attacks and destroys the bile ducts), Biliary atresia (malformation of bile duct). Biliary atresia is a rare disease which is the most common reason for liver transplantation in children.
  • Genetic liver disease such as hemochromatosis (excess iron in the liver and body), Wilson’s disease (abnormal copper metabolism) and others.
  • Liver cancer such as primary hepatocellular carcinoma, cholangiocarcinoma, hepatic adenomas
  • Hepatic thrombosis
  • Fulminant viral hepatitis and fulminant hepatic failure

Before a person undergoes the liver transplant, he or she has to meet certain criteria and undergo a series of medical evaluations by a transplant team. If they approve, the patient name will be put on the waiting list for a deceased donor or if a patient has a suitable living donor, then surgery can be directly scheduled.

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.

Where does the donated liver come from?

There are mainly two types of donors:

Deceased donor: The liver is extracted from a donor who is dead (brain dead or cardiac death) and the family has given consent for organ donation. In this, the whole liver from a deceased donor is used and transplanted into the recipient.

Living donor: A healthy person who is a close relative of the patient can donate a portion of his/her liver. This is possible due to the unique ability of the liver to regenerate and reach its normal size after the surgery. Donor safety is the foremost consideration throughout the process and a series of screening tests are done to ensure donor is completely healthy and have compatible blood type. Living-donor liver transplantation has shown high success rates as the patient receives the transplant before further deterioration of the condition.

What are the different types of Liver Transplant Surgery?

There are three types of liver transplant surgeries. These include the following:

Orthotopic Liver Transplantation

In this procedure, the whole liver of a deceased donor is extracted, preserved and transported to the recipient’s location. The time starting from taking the healthy liver from the donor’s body and placing it in the recipient’s body should be within 12 to 18 hours. Once the damaged liver from the patient’s body is disconnected from the blood vessels and other abdomen structures holding it, the donor’s liver is placed and blood flow is restored. A small tube is fitted for connection to the bile duct.

Heterotopic Liver Transplantation

This type of surgery is performed to place the healthy donor’s liver on one side, while the diseased liver stays intact. It is performed when the doctor is of the opinion that the diseased liver will recover at some point. So, the donor’s liver is located very close to the recipient’s diseased liver. If the original liver recovers, the other liver shrivels away, but when the original one fails, it shrivels and the donor’s liver resumes function.

Reduced-sized Liver Transplant

This type of surgery is usually performed in the case of child patients. In this type of transplant, 15 to 20 percent of the original liver stays intact. It involves transplantation of a part of the healthy donor’s liver into the recipient.

What happens before Liver Transplant Surgery?

Before undergoing liver transplantation, a patient undergoes a complete medical evaluation with specific tests. The purpose of these evaluations is to determine the fitness level of the patient, check for underlying medical conditions that can impact the transplant’s success and patient’s ability to follow-through recovery. The liver transplant team then decides if the patient is an appropriate candidate for the liver transplant surgery.

Some of the tests that are conducted for this evaluation are:

  • Computed tomography – takes images of shape and size of the liver
  • Doppler ultrasound to check the liver’s ability to exchange carbon dioxide and oxygen
  • Stress testing and Echocardiogram
  • Test pulmonary functions
  • Blood tests for determining clotting ability, blood type and liver function.

During the assessment, if any specific problem arises, then more tests may be required.

Apart from these tests, psychological evaluation, family counselling and meetings with social workers also take place.

What happens during Liver Transplant Surgery?

Liver transplantation is a complicated surgery which can take five to ten hours. This duration can vary depending on the complexity of the surgery and the experience of the doctors. Complicated liver surgery duration is up to 12 – 14 hours in total. Following are the steps of surgery:
  • General anesthesia is administered before starting the surgery and a tube is inserted through the mouth of the patient to help him/her breathe during surgery.
  • The surgeon makes an incision in the abdomen and carefully remove the diseased liver by disconnecting it with the bile duct and blood vessels. .
  • Then the healthy liver (a portion from living donor) is placed in the same position and is attached to the bile duct and blood vessels.

Recovery After Liver Transplant Surgery

After the surgery, patient is sent to intensive care unit (ICU) and is closely monitored by the transplant team. The entire procedure of liver transplant treatment is complicated and involves significant care and maintenance post operation. The patient stays in the hospital for about two to three weeks depending on the how the new liver works.

It is recommended to visit the doctor once or twice a week for a period of 3 months.

The hepatologist or the transplant surgeon monitors the patient’s progress during this time and conduct blood tests and other evaluations.

Follow-up care is required for one year after the surgery, but it may differ from patient to patient depending upon their condition and overall health.

Medications play an important role in recovery after liver transplantation. Other than immuno-suppressants to fight organ rejection, patient is prescribed several other medicines such as antibiotics, diuretics, vitamins, etc. to prevent infection and control blood pressure.

Some tests including lung biopsies, ultrasounds and abdominal scans, may also be recommended to assess the liver function and health of the patient post-surgery. The medications and tests are accompanied by a few dietary restrictions as obesity is a major concern after liver transplant surgery. A well-balanced diet with restricted salt intake and active lifestyle should be maintained. It is important to follow the recommended post-transplantation plan to ensure good outcomes.

What are the benefits of Liver Transplant?

There are several benefits of a liver transplant procedure. Most importantly, it can be a life-saving surgery for patients with medical complications like end-stage liver disease. The new liver enables the patient to have a longer and more active life.

Also, important to note is that the earlier the liver transplant surgery is performed, the better are the chances of success and survival post-transplantation. This is because the longer waiting time can cause further deterioration of the liver’s condition.

Living-donor liver transplantation can save the patients from a long organ waiting-list and the surgery can be scheduled as per the convenience of both the patient and donor.

What is the liver transplant success rate in India?

For about 72% of the patients who undergo surgery, the post liver transplant life expectancy is at least five years.

The living donor method has a higher liver transplant survival rate, this is because with a living donor there is a shorter waiting period and the patient receives the transplant before his/her situation worsens.

The five-year survival rate of living donor liver transplants is about 78%. Approximately 90% of transplant recipients survive at least one year after the surgery. The long term success rate (i.e., 15-20 years) for liver transplants is 55-60%.

Most people are able to lead a normal, healthy and productive life after a liver transplant surgery. However, the outcome may vary from case to case depending on individual factors and is difficult to be generalised. Therefore, the success of liver transplant and long-term survival may vary with patients and on their particular situation.

What should I know about the rules and regulations for Liver Transplant Surgery in India?

Foreign patients, before opting for a liver transplant in India, should know about certain rules and regulations :

  • You cannot choose a donor from India. Instead, the living donor should be from your own country.
  • The approval process for transplantation will be faster if the donor is your close relative.
  • The blood group and compatibility factors must match for patient and donor.

Frequently asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the eligibility criteria for liver donation? 

The living donor must be 

  • Officially 18-55 years old
  • Weighing 50-85 kg – should not be overweight or obese as they may have fatty livers
  • A Healthy family person willing to donate
  • Have blood group compatible with the patient
  • No medical conditions like liver disease, heart disease, diabetes or cancer

What are the screening tests for prospective living donor?

A series of screening tests will be conducted before clearing a potential candidate for liver donation. The medical evaluation is necessary to ensure that there are no underlying medical conditions that would cause complications during the surgery or recovery. 

  • Blood tests and serology tests including CBC, PT, LFTs, Serum creatinine, HBsAg, HCV antibody, HIV I and II. 
  • Chest X ray 
  • ECG – to check cardiovascular activity
  • Ultrasound of the abdomen – to check the size of the portion of the liver that can be safely donated.

The final approval is given by the surgeon after detailed analysis.

What are the conditions which can prevent you from receiving liver transplant? 

People with additional medical conditions might not be suitable candidate for a liver transplantation. Some of the conditions that can be contra-indications for liver transplantation are:

  • Severe pulmonary hypertension 
  • Metastatic cancer that has already spread outside of the liver
  • Systemic infection 
  • Active or unacceptable risk of substance abuse – drugs and/or alcohol
  • History of non-compliance – the patient doesn’t stick to a strict medical regimen
  • A severe or uncontrolled psychiatric disease

What is transplant rejection?

Your body’s immune system may recognize the transplanted liver as foriegn and launch a series of responses against it. This can cause damage to the transplanted liver. This is known as rejection and it can happen in spite of close matching of the donated organ and the transplant patient. Recipient are given immuno-suppresive or anti-rejection medications to prevent the immune system’s reaction to the new organ. 

Will I need to take anti-rejection medications all my life after liver transplant surgery?

Normally, yes. But the amount of anti-rejection medication that you have to take decreases after a few months from the surgery. However, some immuno-suppressive medicines are necessary for a long time and must be taken regularly and strictly as per the prescription without failure. 

Will be able to go back to my daily activities after liver transplant?

Yes, most definitely. After a successful liver transplant and complete recovery, you can resume your work and begin with physical activity. For some people, getting their full strength might take time, depending on the severity of the disease. Your doctor will guide you through the recovery and help you regain strength. Most people can return to work, take normal diet, resume sexual activity after recovery.  

Dr. Suneet Singh

Written By Dr. Suneet Singh

Dr. Suneet is a dentist-turned-Hospital Administrator with rich experience in the field of operation management and Public Health Administration. Formerly a dentist, Dr. Suneet holds a post-graduate degree in Hospital and Healthcare management from Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS)
Dr. Surbhi Suden

Verified By Dr. Surbhi Suden

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.

Best Liver Transplant Hospitals in India

There are many top hospitals in India that offer liver transplantation procedure for domestic and international patients. These hospitals are certified by reputed organizations including Joint Commission International (JCI), NABH, and others  for their quality of services and clinical excellence. If you are planning to travel for your treatment, you can comfortably find a suitable hospital for liver transplantation in India across all major cities like Delhi, Gurugram, Bangalore, Kolkata, etc. at a relatively affordable cost. 

The liver transplant procedure is carried out most professionally across different multi-specialty hospitals in India. Delhi is the major centre for minimally invasive liver transplant surgery. This technique enables the patient to have a faster recovery and minimal postoperative pain and stress.

Although, the cost of liver transplant in India might vary for different hospitals and locations, the overall cost of treatment remains significantly lower than in other countries.  

Some of the best liver transplant hospitals in India are:

Best Liver Transplant Surgeons in India 

Liver transplantation is a complicated procedure and is carried out by a multidisciplinary team of specialists, including anesthetists, gastroenterologists, general surgeons, technicians, specialized transplant nurses and counselors. They all work together to ensure holistic and personalized care of the patient.

The best liver transplant specialists in India are highly qualified and trained from the top institutions around the world. They have extensive experience of performing all kinds of liver transplant procedures. The liver transplant surgeons in India are skilled in new-age surgical techniques like laparoscopy and minimally invasive procedures that makes post-surgery recovery easier for patients. 

Choosing the best liver transplant surgeon is a critical decision as the skills and experience of a specialist plays an important role in the success of a surgery. 

Here are some of the best Liver Transplantation surgeons in India:

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