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Liver Diseases

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Diseases that affect the liver

The liver is an important organ that supports almost every organ in the body and is vital for survival. Because of its strategic location and multidimensional functions, the liver is also prone to many diseases. Some common diseases of the liver like Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C are caused by viruses that attack the liver. Still other liver diseases can be the result of drug abuse, exposure to poisons or excessive consumption of alcohol.  Although the mere mention of liver disease is typically linked to alcohol or drugs, the sober truth is that there are over 100 known forms of liver disease caused by a variety of factors and affects everyone from infants to older adults.

What is liver cirrhosis?

Cirrhosis damages healthy liver cells and replaces them with scar tissue, preventing the liver from functioning efficiently. Liver cirrhosis is a serious condition, for the liver is a very important part of the digestive system. Unfortunately, cirrhosis does not always produce symptoms in its early stages. As the disease progresses liver function is increasingly diminished. It is the end stage of many different forms of liver disease and is known to cause a number of other health problems, including variceal bleeding, ascites and hepatic encephalopathy. Liver failure is a potentially life-threatening condition characterized by severe deterioration of liver function as a result of extensive damage to the liver. Treatment of all liver diseases involves immediate medical care aimed at slowing the progression of the disease, minimizing the symptoms and reducing further complications

Liver Transplant

Liver transplant is often recommended as an option when other modes of treatment are not successful. The purpose is to replace your diseased liver with a healthy liver. Ideally, after a transplant you will be free from disease, and lead a fairly normal life as long as the transplant functions

What are the Types of Liver transplants?

There are three options for liver transplantation: cadaver donor transplantation, living donor transplantation, and auxiliary transplantation

Cadaver donor:

The donor liver is obtained from a person who is diagnosed as brain dead, whose family volunteers to donate the organ for transplantation. People who receive cadaver donors wait on the institutional / regional list until a suitable donor becomes available. The waiting times vary.

Living donor:

A healthy family member, usually a parent, sibling, or child, or someone emotionally close to you, such as a spouse, volunteers to donate part of their liver for transplantation. The donor is carefully evaluated by the team to make sure no harm will come to the donor or recipient.]

Auxiliary transplantation:
Part of the liver of a healthy adult donor (living or cadaver) is transplanted into the recipient. The patient’s diseased liver remains intact until the auxiliary piece regenerates and assumes function. The diseased liver may then be removed. This technique is rarely used now.