If your liver is severely damaged, a transplant may be the best way to restore your quality of life or even save your life. If you require liver transplantation, the experienced gastroenterologists at Peak Gastroenterology Associates, with locations in Colorado Springs, Castle Rock, Salida, Denver, Woodland Park, and Parker, Colorado, can help. They have the necessary expertise to ensure a successful liver transplant. If you experience liver disease or liver failure, schedule an appointment with Peak Gastroenterology Associates over the phone or request an appointment online today.
Liver Transplantation Q&A
WHAT IS LIVER TRANSPLANTATION?
The liver is a large organ in your body that stores energy, helps digest food, and removes toxins from the body. If your liver fails and other treatments haven’t worked, liver transplantation, or replacing your liver with a healthy donor liver, may be necessary to save your life. If this is the case, the Peak Gastroenterology Associates team can put you on a liver transplant list.
WHAT CAUSES LIVER FAILURE?
A variety of diseases or illnesses can lead to liver failure and the need for liver transplantation. Examples include:
- Cirrhosis of the liver
- Alcoholic liver disease
- Hepatitis B and C
- Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease
- Genetic liver diseases
- Bile duct diseases
- Liver cancer
- Overuse of drugs or toxins
Cirrhosis of the liver is the scarring of your liver and the impaired liver function that results. Cirrhosis is a common reason your doctor might recommend liver transplantation.
Living a healthy lifestyle, getting hepatitis vaccines and avoiding excessive alcohol or drug use can keep your liver healthy.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF LIVER FAILURE?
The following signs and symptoms may indicate you have liver failure:
See your Peak Gastroenterology Associates provider for an evaluation if you’re at risk of developing liver failure or have symptoms of liver damage.
IS LIVER TRANSPLANTATION RIGHT FOR ME?
To determine if liver transplantation is right for you, your gastroenterologist reviews your medical history and symptoms. They complete a comprehensive physical exam and may use blood tests, imaging tests, heart tests or other diagnostic testing procedures to determine the extent of liver damage you have. If you’re a good candidate for liver transplantation, you’re placed on a liver transplant waiting list.
WHAT SHOULD I EXPECT DURING LIVER TRANSPLANTATION?
You might wait for weeks, months or even longer for a healthy donated liver. Healthy livers used for transplantation often come from donors who have died. You may also receive part of a healthy liver from a living donor.
If a liver is available for you, your doctor calls you and asks you to come to the hospital immediately for surgery. You’re placed under general anesthesia and are asleep during the procedure.
Your surgeon makes an incision in your abdomen and replaces your liver or a portion of your liver with a healthy donor liver. Liver transplantation can take up to 12 hours to complete. After making the switch, your doctor closes the incision, and you move to an intensive care unit to begin your recovery.
WHAT HAPPENS AFTER THE PROCEDURE?
After liver transplant surgery, your doctor tests your liver function and monitors you for complications. You might spend five to 10 days in the hospital and attend frequent checkups during your at-home recovery. You must take medications for the rest of your life after liver transplantation. A full recovery might take six months or longer.