A liver transplant is an important surgery that takes place in the wake of liver failure or any other serious liver disease. This surgical process is costly and the price depends on the cities and countries. Ideally, liver transplant surgery cases are put on a national waiting list because the donor’s liver has to match with the recipient and various other factors have to be considered.
In the process, the surgeon tends to change the diseased liver with a healthy liver or a part of the liver donated because a part of the liver grows to its original size too.
Taking note of the surgery’s cost, it can turn out to be a whooping amount depending on the complexity of the case. Every patient has their own set of budgets, which necessitates them to consider affordable city or country options. This has led to the emergence of medical tourism for liver transplant surgeries.
Liver Transplant and Medical Tourism:
Liver transplant surgeries have shown noteworthy improvement in the mortality rate and increasing the quality of a patient’s life. It is an effective treatment in fighting acute liver failure, liver cancer, and last-stage liver diseases.
Though the demand for organ transplants is rising because of the liver disease percentage, the availability of donors remains unmatched. This has led to an increase in the cost of the overall treatment package and enabled people to travel to another country for affordability.
It has been termed medical tourism, where a patient travels to another country for proper treatment within their respective budget.
When it comes to medical tourism for liver transplants, it does not just contain surgical processes, hospital stays, or medical tests; it consists of post-medical care too. The surgeons will keep you under observation for a couple of days till no side effects are shown.
In a few years, medical tourism has witnessed a surge with India standing out as the most affordable country for liver transplant surgery.
With continuous medical tourism surging high, there have been cases of organ trafficking, in which people tend to buy and sell organs at higher prices than the market. It is the way to meet the increasing demand for liver and the low availability of donors.
Ideally, medical tourism for liver transplants can be segregated into four phases.
- Firstly, the patient and donor belonging to the same country would travel to an affordable country for transplant surgery.
- Secondly, the donor will travel and meet the patient in the country where the recipient lives.
- Thirdly, the recipient tends to travel to the country where the donor is staying.
- Fourthly, the donor from a different and the recipient from another country travel to some other country for liver surgical process
Medical tourism for liver transplant surgery is booming because of the need to get qualitative and advanced services at affordable rates.
Liver Transplant Surgery in the United States of America:
The United States of America has a national waiting list for liver transplant surgery called as United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) for dealing with liver transplant surgery.
In America, more than one-third of the patients having liver disease need to wait for their turn. Besides this, the shortage of liver donors tends to increase the death rate of liver disease patients as they do not get timely treatment.
So, most of the patients tend to prefer other countries for liver transplant treatment. But, this does not mean that the patients do not get treated as more than 6000 liver transplant surgeries are conducted every year in the USA.
Taking note of the cost, the liver transplant tends to cross 850,00 thousand dollars which can be exceeding for the people having less budget.
Liver Transplant in the United Kingdom:
Liver transplant surgery in the United Kingdom comes with a waiting period of about 4 to 5 months, depending on the availability of the donor. In this case, the availability of the deceased donor is more than the live donor. The patient is expected to stay in the hospital for about 7 to 14 days after the transplant surgery is completed.
In the initial days after the surgery, the patient has to stay in the intensive care unit for extensive monitoring by the surgeons and assistant doctors. Considering the recovery time, the patient can go to work for 4 to 6 months from getting discharged.
Not to forget that the medications have to be continued throughout life. However, liver transplant surgery is a costly medical treatment, which can range between 25,000 to 50,000 pounds.
Cost of the Liver Transplant in India:
India is considered to be one of the most affordable countries for liver transplant surgery. The reason is the exchange of dollars, Euros, or Pounds for Indian currency.
Considering the cost of liver transplant surgery in India, it may start from a minimum amount of 10 Lakh rupees and go up to 30 or 35 Lakh.
The complexity of the liver damage case will finalize its cost, which includes hospitalization, pre-medical care, surgeon fees, medications, and post-surgical care. Ideally, the average cost of the surgical process or hospital package is 28 Lakh, which depends on the hospital as well.
Factors Affecting the Cost of Liver Transplant in India:
With so many government and private hospitals offering the facility of liver transplant surgery, the price varies as per the facilities offered.
Some of the advanced multi-specialty hospitals offer surgery packages that include all the below-mentioned charges. This means that you don’t have to hassle for any kind of cost separately.
Moreover, the increase in medical tourism is making India emerge as one of the most affordable countries for liver transplant surgery with high-tech services and treatment provided.
- Hospital admission charges
- Surgeon’s fees
- Patient’s age
- Patient’s medical history
- Link with the liver’s donor
- Possible post-surgical complications
- Hospital room charges
- Lab tests or x-rays in hospitals
Liver Transplant Surgery Cost in Different Cities of India:
Considering the cost of liver transplant surgery in major parts of India, it is Chennai and Mumbai that turn out to be affordable cities for such a surgical process.
On the third number, Delhi can be another option for liver transplant surgery because of the lowest average cost of the surgery. Every city has its advanced facilities and a set of experienced surgeons.
The patients can opt to show up at other nearby hospitals in an emergency, which are recommended to major hospitals apt for liver transplant surgery. But, the date is given as per the complexity and checking the national waiting list.
- Delhi = 18 Lakh to 32 Lakh
- Bangalore = 14 Lakh to 30 Lakh
- Mumbai = 10 Lakh to 32 Lakh
- Chennai = 13.5 lakh to 28.5 Lakh
- Pune = 25 Lakh to 28 Lakh
- Gurugram (Gurgaon) = 14 Lakh to 28 Lakh
- Hyderabad = Rs 22 Lakh to 30 Lakh
Which Country is the Affordable for the Liver Transplant Surgery?
Considering the liver transplant surgery cost in the USA, UK, and India, it is evident that India stands out from other countries. The reason is that Indian Rupee is cheaper than Dollars and Pounds when it comes to the exchange rates.
Besides this, India is one of the fastest-growing technology hubs that has helped in the progress of healthcare and other sectors.
Of course, India has some of the most experienced and renowned liver transplant surgeons, who are adept at handling complex cases.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Can I get an appointment for Liver Transplant easily?
Well, the patients requiring liver transplant surgery are put on the national waiting list of the country. This happens due to increased demand for liver transplant cases and fewer liver donors available to match.
How successful is the liver transplant surgery?
Indeed, liver transplant surgery success rates are more than 80 per cent in many countries. There are a few countries where the success rate is even more like India.
What is the recovery time after a liver transplant?
Generally, the patient undergoing a liver transplant is kept in the hospital for about 7 to 10 days under strict observation. Further to this, it takes around 4 to 5 months for the patient to recover and get back to their work.
What are the risks involved in liver transplant surgery?
Some of the risks involved with liver transplant surgery are bile leakage, bleeding, pain around the operated area, slight problems in the functioning of the transplanted liver, and mild infections. These problems can be treated with the adequate medications consulted by your surgeon. When you come across such side effects, it is advised to consult with your surgeon on a priority basis.
Can anyone donate their liver?
Yes, anyone can donate a part of their liver. However, the doctors will match the blood group of the donor with the patient, and other medical conditions are considered before starting the procedure.