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) and be able to pay for the expensive procedure.
Primary Medical ReviewerKathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerW. Thomas London, MD - Hepatology
Current as ofNovember 14, 2014
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise