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Liver transplantation is a surgical procedure indicated for people who have severe liver damage, so that the function of this organ is compromised, as in the case of liver cirrhosis, liver failure, liver cancer and hepatitis, for example.
Thus, when there is an indication for liver transplantation, it is important that the person maintain a he althy and balanced diet to avoid further damage to the organ. In addition, when the transplant is authorized, it is important that the person begins a complete fast so that the transplant can be performed.
After the transplant, the person usually stays between 10 to 14 days in the hospital so that they can be followed up by the medical team and it can be verified how the organism reacts to the new organ, and it is also possible to prevent complications.
When is indicated
Liver transplantation may be indicated when the organ is severely compromised and stops working, as can happen in the case of cirrhosis, fulminant hepatitis or cancer in this organ, in people of any age, including children.
There is an indication for transplantation when drugs, radiotherapy or chemotherapy fail to restore its proper functioning. In this case, the patient must continue performing the treatment proposed by the doctor and performing the necessary tests until a compatible liver donor is found, who is within the ideal weight and without any he alth problems.
Transplantation may be indicated in case of acute or chronic diseases, which have little chance of reoccurring after a transplant, such as:
- Liver cirrhosis;
- Metabolic diseases;
- Sclerosing cholangitis;
- Biliary atresia;
- Chronic hepatitis;
- Hepatic failure.
Some diseases that may not be suitable for transplantation are hepatitis B, because the virus tends to install itself in the 'new' liver and in the case of cirrhosis caused by alcoholism, because if the person continues to drink excessively the 'new' organ will also be damaged. Thus, the physician should indicate when the transplant can or cannot be performed based on the person's liver disease and the person's general he alth status.
How to prepare for the transplant
To prepare for this type of procedure, you must maintain a good diet, avoiding foods rich in fat and sugar, giving preference to vegetables, fruits and lean meats. In addition, it is important to inform the doctor of any symptoms that are present so that they can investigate and initiate appropriate treatment.
When the doctor makes contact, calling the person for the transplant, it is important that the person starts a total fast and goes to the indicated hospital as soon as possible for the procedure to be performed.
The person who will receive the donated organ must have an adult companion and bring all the necessary documents to be hospitalized to receive the organ. After surgery, it is normal for the person to stay in the ICU for at least 10 to 14 days.
What is recovery like
After the liver transplant, the person usually stays in the hospital for a few weeks to be monitored and observed the body's reaction to the new organ, preventing complications that may occur. After this period, the person can go home, however they must follow some medical recommendations to promote their quality of life, such as the use of immunosuppressive drugs, for example.
After the transplant, the person can have a normal life.
1. At the hospital
After the transplant, the person should stay in the hospital for about 1 to 2 weeks to monitor blood pressure, blood glucose, blood clotting, kidney function and others that are important to check if the person is well and infections can be prevented.
Initially, the person must remain in the ICU, however, once they are stable, they can go to the room to continue being monitored. Still in the hospital, the person can perform physiotherapy sessions to improve respiratory capacity and reduce the risk of motor complications such as stiffness and muscle shortening, thrombosis and others.
2. At home
Once the person is stabilized, there are no signs of rejection and the exams are considered normal, the doctor can discharge them as long as the person follows the treatment at home.
Home treatment should be done with the use of immunosuppressive drugs indicated by the doctor and that act directly on the immune system, reducing the risk of rejection of the transplanted organ. However, as a consequence, there is a greater risk of developing infections. Thus, it is important that the dose of the drug is adequate so that the organism is able to act against invading infectious agents at the same time that organ rejection does not occur.
Some drugs that can be used are prednisone, cyclosporine, azathioprine, globulins and monoclonal antibodies, but the dose varies from one person to another because it depends on a number of factors that must be evaluated by the doctor, such as the disease that led to it. to transplantation, age, weight and other present diseases such as heart problems and diabetes.
In addition to the use of medication, it is recommended that the person has he althy lifestyle habits, avoiding the consumption of alcoholic beverages and fatty foods, and practicing light physical activity that must be recommended by the physical education professional.
Possible medication side effects
With the use of immunosuppressants, symptoms such as body swelling, weight gain, increased amount of hair on the body, especially on women's faces, osteoporosis, poor digestion, hair loss and canker sores can arise. Thus, one should observe the symptoms that appear and talk to the doctor so that he can indicate what can be done to control these unpleasant symptoms, without harming the immunosuppression regimen.