Liver Transplant 2

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Currently more than 6,000 liver transplants are performed each year in the United States. In today's 60 Second Housecall, Dr. Edward Hill discusses what happens after a liver transplant takes place.

Dr. Hill:

Liver transplantation is a major operation that takes place only in specialized transplant centers. The diseased liver is removed through an abdominal incision. The livers blood supply and the biliary system are all connected to the new liver after it is placed into the abdominal cavity.

Persons who have liver transplants require intensive care and close monitoring after their operation. In a few cases, only part of a healthy liver from a living, usually related, donor may be used.

This requires the donor to have an operation to remove a part of their liver, which is then transplanted into the person with liver failure.

Following a liver transplant, the person receiving the transplant will have to take immunosuppressive medications that prevent rejection of the transplanted organ for the rest of the individuals life. The transplanted liver is monitored for function and for rejection.

Persons with transplanted organs should avoid contact with ill individuals to prevent infection. Illnesses that healthy persons can tolerate have serious consequences for patients who are taking immunosuppressive medications.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.