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How Long Does a Liver Transplant Take?

November 16, 2023

A liver transplant is an imperative surgery, which calls for changing a small part or a whole liver. Of course, the need for such a surgery arises because of liver failure, cirrhosis, or cancer present in the organ. As known, the liver is meant to help you digest food and generate energy in the body. If the liver is not fit, it will not digest the food which can lead to other health problems. Indeed, the surgical option is available to handle extreme liver diseases. In this matter, the surgeon will match the blood group of the patient with the liver donor and other health conditions suitable for a successful surgery.

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Why Does Liver Transplant Surgery Take Place?

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Certainly, a liver transplant procedure is mandatory for patients with liver cancer and people with liver failure. They are patients whose medical condition cannot be controlled through medications or any other treatments. There are chances that such conditions may occur quickly or the symptoms are highlighted over a longer. One of the immediate conditions is acute liver failure may result from the intake of certain medications, that affect the liver. Although a liver transplant may treat acute liver failure, it is more often used to treat chronic liver failure. Chronic liver failure occurs slowly over months and years.

Time taken for a Liver Transplant Surgery:

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It should be noted that the Liver transplant surgery is conducted under the effect of general anesthesia. Further to this, the surgeon makes a slightly longer cur across the stomach for accessing your liver. However, the size of the incision will surgeon’s approach toward the procedure and the patient’s body anatomy. After the incision is made, the surgeon will carefully remove the liver and change it with the donor’s liver. Then, the surgeon joins your bile ducts and blood vessels to the donor’s liver. This surgical procedure can take anywhere between 6 to 12 hours. Basically, the time taken for the surgery will depend on the chronic liver condition of the patient. As the new liver is placed, the surgeon will stitch and staple the incision to close it. Finally, the patient is taken to the intensive care unit for aftercare.

Factors to Consider After Liver Transplant Surgery:

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After the liver transplant surgery is completed, the patient has to take certain measures for speedy recovery.

  1. It is necessary for the patient to stay in the intensive care unit for a couple of days. The purpose of doing so is to ensure that doctors and nurses tend to monitor your recovery. They will also check for any occurring complications in the patient. Of course, you will be given medications and have to undergo certain tests to check the overall progress.
  2. After the hospital care is completed, you will be discharged and need to come for follow-ups. This necessitates you to keep a check on your recovery at home and give proper updates to your surgeon.
  3. As a matter of fact, the patient will have to take medications for a lifetime to take care of the liver. Definitely, the transplanted liver will grow to its normal size in the due course of time. The purpose of taking medications is to keep your immune system healthy and reduce the risk of any further complications.

When it comes to recovering completely, the minimum time might stretch to six months or slightly more as per your immunity. Of course, the patient can go back to work normally after a few months of recuperating at home. Needless to say, liver transplant surgery requires excessive aftercare to avoid any other problems.

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