Liver Transplant in India
A liver transplant procedure is best advisable when a person suffers from the liver failure, which can potentially take away his or her life. However, with a liver transplant, the patient’s life can be saved. Liver transplant surgery involves the process of taking a healthy liver from the donor and its implantation into the recipient’s body in place of the damaged liver.
Before a person undergoes the liver transplant, he or she has to meet certain criteria. For example, the patient will be first evaluated by a transplant team and if approved, the name of the patient will appear on the waiting list for any deceased donor. If a patient has a living donor, then he or she is directly scheduled for surgery.
Liver transplant in India is carried out most professionally and successfully across different multi-speciality hospitals in the major cities of the country. For instance, Delhi is considered the major centre for minimally invasive liver transplant surgery and other techniques that ensure fast recovery and minimal post-operative stress.
The types of liver transplant in India that are famous across the globe include the following:
- Transplant for acute liver failure treatment
- Pediatric liver transplant
- Liver-kidney transplant
- Adult liver transplant
- Cadaver liver transplant
Many foreign nationals with liver diseases travel to India to seek the most advanced and endoscopic facilities, contemporary technology, services of highly-qualified and trained doctors, latest infrastructure, best counselling and reasonable treatment cost of treatment for the best treatment available.
Liver Transplant Hospitals in India
The reason why India is witnessing a huge influx of foreign patients from more than ten countries is because of the fact that the best hospitals in India possess state-of-the-art technology for laparoscopic surgery, well-equipped hospitals, dedicated endoscopic suites, 4-bedded recovery units for easy movement of patients, dedicated years of experienced doctors, comprehensively-armed liver transplant ICUs and great team of doctors with medical excellence.
There are many liver transplant hospitals in India, of which the most renowned ones are concentrated in some of the major metropolitan cities, including Delhi, Chennai, Mumbai, Bangalore, Gurgaon, Pune, Nagpur, Chandigarh, Goa and Jaipur.
The transplant team herein receive extensive training and acquire vast experience in managing and performing liver transplants. The team consist of anaesthetists, gastroenterologists, surgeons, technicians, specialised nurses and counsellors who work together to make a transplant procedure successful.
Bloodless liver surgery is a complicated procedure that is carried out fruitfully with the high success rate at all major hospitals in India. Besides, India boasts of the fastest growing transplant program, including the biggest cadaver program in the world.
There are several super-specialty liver transplant hospitals in India that cater cutting-edge clinical solutions, extraordinary patient care, top-class standards, most advanced infrastructure and extensive research facilities. India is, indeed, a one-stop solution for candidates looking for specialised surgeons, skilled consultants, advanced technology, well-equipped hospital units and ingenious technical staff under one roof.
Liver transplant treatment involves many steps. First, it requires an evaluation of the patient’s condition for a surgical procedure. Second, a registration is required by the patient’s family with the transplant hospital. Third, is the most significant that involves finding the right donor. Fourth, is undergoing the transplant surgery and lastly, post operation liver transplant recovery and hospital discharge.
Best Liver Transplant Hospitals
Some of the best hospitals for Liver Transplant in India include the following:
Liver Transplant Treatment Cost in India
Liver transplant treatment cost in India is comparatively lower than what it costs in other foreign countries. The reasonable price allows patients from all over the country and across the globe to avail the most favourable medical care suited for their budget.
It is true that a liver transplant cost can get really high, considering many factors such as finding a doctor, surgical procedure, and post-operation recovery period and long-term medications. The best liver transplant hospitals in India, nonetheless, promise unparalleled health treatments combined with awe-inspiring and alluring services at attractively low-cost packages.
Apart from liver transplant treatment cost, there are other associated costs that should be taken into account. These include costs of extensive laboratory tests, recovery, pre- and post-operative hospital stay, transplant surgeon fees, operating room personnel fees, organ recovery, rehabilitation and physical therapy, transportation to hospital, patient’s lodging after discharge, transportation, lodging and food costs for family members of patients, and costs of medications and anti-infection drugs.
The success rate of liver transplant surgery ranges between 85% and 90% in India. This survival rate is comparably the best to the other countries.
The following table indicates how affordable the cost of liver transplant surgery in India is, as compared to other leading nations:
|Cost of Liver Transplant in India and Abroad
The same laws govern the liver transplant procedure for a foreigner and an Indian national. At first, the foreign patient has to get a donor from his home country. The donor should be a very close relative of the patient. Then, they have to get all documents ready that prove they are closely related. A medical recommendation letter is required from a well-known doctor from his own country is also required.
When is liver transplant required?
Liver transplant is required only in the following cases:
- Chronis hepatitis, alcoholic cirrhosis, primary bilary sclerosis, end-stage cirrhosis and hemochromatosis
Genetic liver disease
- Liver cancer such as primary hepatocellular carcinoma, cholangiocarcinoma, primary hepatocellular malignancies and hepatic adenomas
- Hepatic thrombosis, fulminant viral hepatisis and fulminant hepatic failure
Before Liver Transplant Surgery
Certain tests and evaluations must be performed before liver transplant surgery. Phase I Evaluation is the first stage where the liver transplant team counsel with the patient’s family to decide if the patient is an appropriate liver transplant candidate for the surgery. Since the patient undergoes various tests for evaluation, he or she should not drink or eat after midnight of the day the tests are done.
The patient has to bring all prior records, including liver biopsy slides, X-rays, the record of medications and operative reports. During the evaluation, if any specific problem arises, then additional tests may be required.
Some of these tests include computed tomography (pictures of shape and size of the liver), Doppler ultrasound, pulmonary functions (liver’s ability to exchange carbon dioxide and oxygen), stress testing and Echocardiogram and blood tests for determining clotting ability, blood type and liver function.
Different Types of Liver Transplant Surgery
There are three types of liver transplant surgeries. These include the following:
- Reduced-sized liver transplant: This type of surgery is usually performed in case of child patients wherein 15 to 20 percent of the original liver stays intact. Reduced-sized liver transplant procedure involves transplantation of a part of the healthy donor’s liver into the recipient.
- Orthotopic transplantation: In this procedure, the donor’s liver is extracted, preserved and transported, and is then replaced in the recipient’s body. 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 transplantation: This type of surgery is performed to place the healthy donor’s liver on one side, while the diseased liver stays intact. Heterotopic transplantation is performed when the doctor is of the opinion that the diseased liver will recover at some point. Therefore, the donor’s liver is placed 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.
During Liver Transplantation Procedure
Liver transplantation procedure is a complicated job, which can take five to six hours. However, the specified duration can be shorter or longer, depending upon the complexity of the surgery and the experience of the doctors. General anaesthesia is administered while performing liver transplantation surgery.
Prior to surgery, a windpipe is inserted through the mouth of the patient to help him/her breathing during the surgery. The liver transplant surgeons make a Y-shaped incision in the abdomen and carefully remove the diseased liver. Then, the donor’s healthy liver is placed in the same position and is attached to the bile duct and blood vessels. Complicated liver surgery duration is up to 12 hours in total.
Recovery After Liver Transplant Surgery
While the entire procedure of liver transplant treatment is complicated and involves significant care and maintenance, the patient needs to be extra cautious post operation. He or she is recommended to visit the doctor once or twice a week for a period of 3 months.
During this time, the hepatologist or the transplant surgeon monitors the patient’s progress by conducting several blood tests. However, after a year passes by, follow-up care is still required but it differs from patient to patient depending upon their condition.
Medications play an integral role in liver transplant recovery. The patient is prescribed several medicines such as antibiotics, diuretics, vitamins, to control blood pressure and insulin. Also, medications are required to prevent the patient’s body from fighting the new organ.
Additional testing may also be recommended to assess the liver function and health of the patient. Some of the other tests may include biopsies, ultrasounds and abdominal scans.
Medications and tests are accompanied by a few dietary restrictions. A well-balanced diet is best advised. Salt intake is highly restricted at this time. Besides, obesity is a major concern post liver transplant surgery, therefore calorie intake should be restricted.
Benefits of Liver Transplant
There are several benefits of the liver transplant. The surgery ensures longer and more active life for the patient. Even if a patient is suffering from an end-stage liver disease or final stage liver disease, he or she can be saved with the liver transplantation procedure.
With medical science making huge progress, the introduction of anti-rejection medications has made it easier for patients to fight a foreign organ in their bodies. If the liver transplant surgery is performed before the patient’s liver deteriorates further, then the patient has a higher chance of survival.
Besides, he or she can tolerate the new organ in the body more quickly. While the donor can recover within a week after donating the liver, the recipient recovers in two to three weeks.