The right time and condition for your child’s liver transplant
October 1, 2019
What does liver transplant mean?
Liver transplant refers to surgery performed to save someone from liver disease or an unhealthy liver. It is considered when the damaged liver has to be replaced with the liver of an organ donor who recently died or parts with a part of his liver. This makes him a living donor.
When should a child undergo liver transplantation?
The very thought of your child undergoing liver transplantation might scare you. However, its success rate is an assurance that your child’s life can be saved. Doctors consider liver transplant as a last resort. In other words, it is also identified as a liver failure after a detailed examination.
How do doctors identify the need for a liver transplant?
Doctors assess the severity of liver disease in a child to then recommend liver transplant. Synthetic function failure, variceal bleeding, fatigue, decreased platelet count, malnutrition, elevated ammonia levels in the blood, jaundice, itchy skin and are some of the symptoms that cause liver diseases. Some of the liver diseases that affect children include acute and chronic hepatitis that result when liver cells are injured and dead; biliary atresia which defects the bile ducts that transfer bile from the liver to the intestine and help the digestive system; metabolic diseases like glycogen storage disease caused by a genetic enzyme defect; alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency which reduces blood protein that helps protect lungs, among others. All these diseases can also cause liver failure.
How does living donor transplant work?
Several times, only a part of the liver is required for a transplant. In such cases, a family member or someone who meets the requirements can donate his or her liver. The liver donated and the one who receives a part of it grow to normal size. This treatment is, therefore, a win-win situation for both sides as the liver tissues have the power to regenerate.
When should you be prepared for a transplant for your child?
Parents of a child needing a liver transplant should be prepared for this only after the doctor puts the child through a thorough examination. Assisting him in this examination are a transplant team comprising surgeons, hepatologist, transplant coordinator, nutritionist and a social worker.
After this, the team starts the process for liver transplant and registers the paediatric transplant patient on the organ waiting list. At this point, parents need to be extremely patient and wait for their turn to hear of an interested person to donate a liver. During this waiting period, parents will need to keep the child healthy and feed him with essential nutrients to keep him/her ready for the transplant whenever the call comes.
Why Rela Hospital ?
Led by Prof Mohamed Rela, a world-renowned transplant surgeon who won the Guinness Book of World Records in 2000 for performing a successful liver transplant on a five-day-old infant, the team of child liver specialists in Chennai at Rela Hospital has successfully operated over 300 patients children till date.
With the help of the best paediatric liver transplant surgeons in Chennai, Rela Hospital has not only earned the reputation of being the best paediatric liver transplantation hospital in Chennai, India, but it is also known as one of top 10 liver transplant hospitals in India.