Chronic Liver Failure
Chronic liver failure is a medical condition which features with chronic destruction and regeneration of the liver tissue. This finally leads to fibrosis and cirrhosis. Chronic liver failure is a progressive disease and it significantly interferes in normal functioning of this organ. In terminal stage, all the liver functions are lost and the patients face inevitable lethal outcome. Only those who undergo liver transplantation may survive this horrible disease.
Liver Transplant Surgery
Thanks to the advantage of the surgical methods patients can benefit from many transplantation surgeries including transplantation of the liver. This surgical procedure saves lives of all patients suffering from terminal liver failure. It includes removal of the old, destroyed and damaged liver and its replacement with a healthy one or a part of a healthy liver. There are three liver transplantation options and they include cadaveric-donor transplantation, living-donor transplantation and split-liver transplantation. Cadaveric- Donor Liver TransplantationIn this surgical procedure the liver is taken from patients who are pronounced brain dead. The family of the donor chooses to donate organs and there are several organs which may be taken. This is one source of the liver for patients suffering from terminal liver failure. An adult cadaveric liver transplant was first performed in the previous century, to be more precise in 1964. Even today this is the most successful performed liver transplant procedure. The patients undergo general anesthesia and there is a team of surgeons who participate in the transplantation. The liver removed from the cadaver is held on ice.
What follows is removal of the liver from the patient and its replacement with the donor liver. All the blood vessels (the veins and hepatic artery) as well as the bile duct are connected with sutures. The abdomen is closed and the wound is covered with dressing which is supposed to stay for a few days after the surgery. This surgery lasts around 5-6 hours. Living-Donor TransplantationIn living-donor transplantation a healthy family member (a parent, sibling or an adult child) or a spouse are volunteers to donate a part of their healthy liver. Prior the surgery the doctors evaluate the health of the donor and make sure that donation would not harm the donor. Split-Liver TransplantationThis is a special technique in which a whole cadaveric liver is 'split' into two halves. What follows is that each of the halves is transplanted into a different patient. Even though the patients only get a half of the liver this organ posses an ability to regenerate so it will eventually grow to a full size. This surgical procedure has been performed for approximately ten years. The results are excellent.