A liver transplant is a surgical procedure that removes a severely
diseased liver and replaces it with a healthy liver from an organ donor.
Conditions that can destroy the liver include long-term alcohol
use, viral hepatitis, liver cancer, and other diseases.
After receiving a transplant, a person will need to take
medicines the rest of his or her life to suppress the immune system and
prevent rejection of the new organ.
Not everyone is a candidate for liver transplant. The person must
be in good health apart from the liver disease, be free from drugs and alcohol
for at least 6 months, and be young enough for the possibility of a long life
when healthy. The person must also be free from significant psychological
disorders (such as severe depression).
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Donald Sproule, MDCM, CCFP - Family Medicine & W. Thomas London, MD - Hepatology