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Friday, February 8, 2008

Liver Transplant

Alternate Names : Hepatic Transplant, Transplant - Liver

Definition
Liver transplant is surgery to replace a diseased liver with a healthy liver from a donor.

Overview & Description
Liver transplants have become common operations worldwide.

The healthy liver is usually obtained from a donor who has recently died, but has not suffered liver injury. The healthy liver is transported in a cooled saline solution that preserves the organ for up to 8 hours, thus permitting the necessary analyses to determine blood and tissue donor-recipient matching.

The diseased liver is removed through an incision made in the upper abdomen. The new liver is put in place and attached to the patient's blood vessels and bile ducts. The operation can take up to 12 hours to complete and requires large volumes of blood transfusions.

In some cases, living donors may donate a piece of their liver for transplant to someone else, often a family member or friend. This poses some risk to the donor because of the nature of the operation, but since the liver can regenerate itself to some extent, both parties will end up with fully functioning livers after a successful transplant.

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