When the liver disease progress into a certain level, the function of the liver would not be able to compensate for the demands of the body and thus deemed to be in a state of failure. In such instances, the medical management would do little good in improving the liver function and puts the lives of these patients at risk. In these instances, the only available treatment option to promote long term survival and avoid other complications would be the liver transplant.
Even though, there are many liver transplant candidates awaiting each year for surgery, only few would get the opportunity to undergo surgery and resurrect their functional capacity. But, even from the people who are lucky enough to undergo surgery, only 58% will have a well functional liver by 15 years following surgery. Thus, there is the possibility of graft rejection in liver transplants similar to other types of organ transplants.
Researchers have made assumptions based on evidence that certain characteristics will be contributing to the survival of a liver once it’s transplanted in a patient. Out of which, some are related to the patient, some to the donor and some to the surgical technique as well as the procedures in-between donation and transplantation.
When considering the patient factors, it has been postulated that, if the donor is more than 60 years of age, the rejection rates of the transplanted liver will be relatively more than that of a donor ageing below 60 years of age.
Another factor that has been highlighted is the time gap between the extractions of the liver to transplantation. The reason for it to be significant is because, the organ is kept in cold storage before being transplanted to another person. The cold can lead to ‘cold ischemia’ and thus liver cell damage. Therefore, the researches are suggesting that, a liver which has spent more than 12 hours before transplantation in a cold storage are having lesser survival rate than the ones which has a lesser transit time.
Weight and gender:
It is also been revealed that, if the donor weighs more than 220 lbs, the chances of survival can be less in the transplanted liver. Similarly, when the gender of the donor and the recipient mismatches, the liver transplants are showing lesser success rates than when the two individuals match in their genders.
Apart from the above factors, the accuracy and success of certain technical procedures such as anastomosis of the blood vessels…etc will contribute to the success rate of the liver transplant.