Liver transplantation or hepatic transplantation is the replacement of a diseased liver with the healthy
liver from another person (allograft). Liver transplantation is a treatment option for end-stage liver disease
and acute liver failure, although availability of donor organs is a major limitation. The most common technique
is orthotopic transplantation, in which the native liver is removed and replaced by the donor organ in the same
anatomic position as the original liver. The surgical procedure is complex, requiring careful harvest of the donor
organ and meticulous implantation into the recipient. Liver transplantation is highly regulated, and only performed
at designated transplant medical centers by highly trained transplant physicians and supporting medical team. The
duration of the surgery ranges from 4 to 18 hours depending on outcome. Favorable outcomes
require careful screening for eligible recipient, as well as a well-calibrated live or cadaveric donor match.
Liver transplantation is a potential treatment for acute or chronic conditions which cause irreversible and severe
(“end-stage”) liver dysfunction. Since the procedure carries relatively high risks, is resource-intensive,
and requires major life modifications after surgery, it is reserved for dire circumstances.
Judging the appropriateness/effectiveness of liver transplant on case-by-case basis is critically important
, as outcomes are highly variable.