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Hepatitis Health Center

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Surgery

If chronic hepatitis C damages your liver so severely that it no longer works well (end-stage liver failure), you may need a liver transplant to extend your life. Liver transplants aren't common.

Surgery choices

A liver transplant is the only surgical treatment that can help people with end-stage liver failure.

What to think about

Liver transplantation is a risky, expensive procedure. And donor organs are hard to get. Most of the time, only people who are in good health (other than having liver disease) are considered for a transplant. You will not be considered if you are drinking alcohol, using illegal drugs, or have certain mental health problems.

After a liver transplant, you will need lifelong follow-up care by a specialist. You also will need to take immunosuppressant medicine to keep your body from rejecting the new liver. This medicine may cause other problems.

Hepatitis C almost always infects the newly transplanted liver. Recurring liver disease after a transplant can be a serious problem and may cause the new organ to fail. But most patients do very well after a liver transplant and are able to live normal lives.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: June 20, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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