Liver Transplant

What is Liver Transplantation?

Liver transplantation, an intricate surgical procedure crucial for individuals grappling with end-stage liver diseases like cirrhosis or acute liver failure, involves replacing a diseased liver with a healthy one from a living or deceased donor. In Chennai, renowned for its medical expertise, finding a Liver Transplant in Chennai is pivotal for the success of this life-saving intervention

Types of Liver Transplantation

The main types of liver cancer include:

  • Deceased Donor Liver Transplantation (DDLT): Involves transplanting a liver from a deceased donor to a recipient.

  • Living Donor Liver Transplantation (LDLT): Utilizes a segment of the liver from a living donor, typically a family member or close friend, for transplantation.

  • Split Liver Transplantation: A deceased donor liver is divided into two parts, allowing it to be transplanted into two different recipients.

  • Auxiliary Liver Transplantation: Involves supplementing a diseased liver with a partial liver transplant, usually from a living donor, to support the recipient’s failing liver function.

  • Domino Liver Transplantation: A technique where a liver from a patient with a metabolic disorder, such as familial amyloid polyneuropathy, is transplanted into a recipient. 

Who Requires a Liver Transplant?

A liver transplant is necessary when a patient has reached end-stage liver failure, where the liver can no longer function adequately to sustain life. This condition can arise suddenly due to infections, specific medications, or long-term medical issues. Liver failure can occur due to several reasons:

  • Alcoholism: Chronic excessive alcohol consumption leading to liver damage and cirrhosis.
  • Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency: A genetic condition causing abnormal accumulation of antitrypsin protein in the liver, leading to cirrhosis.
  • Biliary Atresia: A congenital malformation of the bile ducts, often leading to liver damage in infants.
  • Chronic Hepatitis with Cirrhosis: Persistent hepatitis infection causing scarring and damage to the liver.
  • Hemochromatosis: An inherited disorder causing excessive iron deposits in the liver, leading to damage.
  • Liver Cancer: Malignant tumors in the liver that impair its function.
  • Primary Biliary Cirrhosis: An autoimmune condition where the immune system attacks and destroys bile ducts, leading to liver failure.
  • Sclerosing Cholangitis: Scarring and narrowing of bile ducts, causing bile to back up and leading to liver damage.
  • Wilson’s Disease: A rare genetic disorder causing excessive copper accumulation in the liver, resulting in liver failure.

What are the risk factors in liver transplantation?

Liver transplant treatment in Chennai, like anywhere else, involves certain risk factors. It’s important to note that advancements in medical technology and surgical techniques have significantly improved outcomes, but there are still potential risks associated with the procedure.

  • Rejection: Immune system may recognize the transplanted liver as foreign and attempt to attack it. Immunosuppressive medications are prescribed to prevent rejection, but the risk is still present. It’s crucial for patients undergoing liver transplant in Chennai to adhere to the prescribed immunosuppressive regimen and attend regular follow-up appointments to monitor and manage any potential rejection episodes.
  • Infection: Liver transplant in Chennai, the use of immunosuppressive drugs to prevent rejection can increase the risk of infections. Infections can affect the transplanted liver or other parts of the body. It’s crucial for healthcare professionals in the field of liver transplantation in Chennai to carefully monitor and manage immunosuppressive medication regimens to balance rejection prevention with the increased susceptibility to infections.
  • Bleeding: During the liver transplant procedure in Chennai, which involves the manipulation of blood vessels, there is a risk of bleeding during and after the surgery. It’s crucial for the medical team performing liver transplants in Chennai to carefully manage and monitor the vascular components during the surgical process to minimize the risk of complications related to bleeding.
  • Blood Clots: liver transplant in Chennai, the risk of blood clots forming in the blood vessels leading to or from the transplanted liver is a potential concern. This complication can increase the overall risk of postoperative complications.
  • Organ Failure: Liver transplant in Chennai, the transplanted liver may not function immediately or as expected, leading to the possibility of organ failure. This can be temporary or may require additional medical interventions.

Eligibility Criteria for a Liver Transplant in Chennai

  • Overview: Specialists from multiple medical fields review a candidate’s medical history to decide if a liver transplant is necessary. If eligible, the candidate’s name is placed on a waiting list for a matching donor liver. Priority for transplantation is determined by MELD and PELD scores, reflecting the severity of liver disease.
  • Evaluation Process: Key blood tests, including creatinine, bilirubin, and INR, are used to calculate scores that determine a patient’s priority on the transplant waiting list. Higher scores indicate more severe illness and a greater need for a transplant. These scores ensure that the sickest patients receive priority.
  • Procedure Details: When a liver becomes available, the transplant coordinator contacts the patient for additional tests such as an electrocardiogram, more blood tests, and a chest x-ray. The patient will also consult with a surgical resident and an anesthesiologist. The donor liver is matched to the recipient to ensure compatibility.
  • After Surgery: Liver transplant surgery usually takes between 6 to 12 hours to complete. During and after the procedure, various tubes are used to help the patient’s body perform normal functions. Post-surgery care involves close monitoring to ensure the new liver functions properly.

Advantages of Liver Transplantation

  • Life-saving Procedure: Liver transplantation is a crucial and often life-saving treatment for end-stage liver disease.
  • Improved Quality of Life: Successfully transplanted individuals experience a significant enhancement in their overall quality of life.
  • Resolution of Symptoms: Transplantation resolves symptoms associated with advanced liver disease, such as fatigue, jaundice, and fluid retention.
  • Extended Life Expectancy: The procedure extends life expectancy for those with irreversible liver damage.
  • Treatment for Liver Cancer: Transplantation serves as a curative option for some cases of liver cancer.
  • Elimination of Underlying Conditions: The new liver eliminates the underlying conditions causing liver failure.
  • Technological Advancements: Advances in surgical techniques and immunosuppressive medications contribute to the success of liver transplantation.
  • Donor Compatibility: Compatibility with living or deceased donors increases the availability of suitable organs.


Liver transplant in Chennai is a complex yet potentially life-saving procedure for individuals with end-stage liver disease. Liver transplant treatment in Chennai, equipped with advanced technologies and skilled healthcare professionals, strives to ensure the success of liver transplantation procedures.

Read also Best Liver Doctors in India.


The cost of a liver transplant in Chennai ranges from INR 15 to 30 lakhs (approximately USD 18,000 to 36,000), depending on the hospital, surgeon’s expertise, and patient condition. This includes pre-transplant evaluations, surgery, post-operative care, and follow-up. Additional expenses may arise for medications and potential complications.

The success rate of liver transplants in Chennai is generally high, with one-year survival rates around 85-90%. Long-term survival rates vary, but five-year survival can be up to 75%. Success depends on factors like the patient’s health, the quality of the donor liver, and post-transplant care adherence.

Liver donors can live normal, healthy lives after recovery. The liver regenerates within a few months, and donors typically return to their daily activities within a few weeks. Regular follow-ups and a healthy lifestyle are crucial to ensure long-term well-being, but overall, donors experience minimal long-term health issues.