Dr. MJ Bazos MD,
Liver transplantation is surgery to remove a
diseased liver and replace it with a healthy liver from an organ donor. A liver
transplant is necessary when disease makes the liver stop working. The most
common reason for liver transplantation in adults is cirrhosis, a disease in
which healthy liver cells are killed and replaced with scar tissue. The most
common reason for transplantation in children is biliary atresia, a disease in
which the ducts that carry bile out of the liver are missing or damaged.
Liver transplantation is usually done
when other medical treatment cannot keep a damaged liver functioning. About 80
to 90 percent of people survive liver transplantation. Survival rates have
improved over the past several years because of drugs like cyclosporine and
tacrolimus that suppress the immune system and keep it from attacking and
damaging the new liver.