With the color of dark reddish-brown and the weight of about 1.5 kilograms for adults, liver is considered the largest solid organ in the body. Liver is located in the upper right side of the abdomen and below the diaphragm. It includes two main lobes, the right and left ones, which are departed by the falciform ligament.
Liver plays important roles in the body and its main functions include receiving the food from the digestive tract and processing nutrients to store the needed energy, providing the highest amount of proteins for the body and controlling their metabolism, making certain vitamins such as E, D, A and K. This vital organ also helps the body fight infections by removing bacteria from the blood and detoxifying potentially side effects of some certain medications.
A liver transplant describes a lifesaving operation that the diseased liver is removed and replaced by a healthy donor one. Generally, the liver transplantation is regarded as a high risk major surgery in which the transplanted liver may be rejected by the receiver body.
Liver transplantation is required when the liver fails and the failure can be seen in the two following conditions :
- Acute Liver Failure happens suddenly due to some liver serious injuries such as hepatitis, medical-induced injuries and infections.
- Chronic liver failure refers to the condition in which the liver repairs itself over the time. However, some scars remain and act as long-term problems which leads to chronic liver failure.
Generally there are three different types of liver transplantation that can be offered according to the patient’s situation. Followings are the different types of liver transplantation:
- Deceased Donor Liver Transplant (DDLT): The procedure is performed when a brain death happens and the healthy liver can be donated to the recipient for transplantation according to the patient’s blood group and size of the liver.
- Living Donor Liver Transplantation (LDLT): Living-donor transplantation refers to the surgical procedure in which a part of the donor liver is transplanted to the patient’s liver.
- Split Type of Liver Transplant (STLT): Split donation refers to the situation in which the donated liver is divided to the left and right lobes and the transplantation is performed for two patients, an adult and a child. The larger right lobe usually is transplanted to the adult the small lobe will be for the child.
Each volunteer for transplantation should be of the same blood type as well as the same body size of the patient. Some factors such as age, race, and sex are not important for transplantation. However, the donor is examined in terms of some factors such as:
- Potential liver disease’s symptoms;
- Hepatitis diseases;