What Quality of Life Can I Expect After a Liver Transplant?

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Our goal in liver transplantation is return patients to a completely normal life, though they have to take medications and get follow up, I tell my patients just to live their lives with a little extra care. But patients grow up, they get married, they have children, they watch their grandchildren grow up, and should be able to return to a normal quality, and hopefully quantity of life.

Because the liver is a foreign organ, patients need to be on immunosuppressive medications for life. In the beginning, it seems like all they do, they take 10 different pills three and four times a day, over time we're able to win these medications, down to one or two pills that they take once or twice a day. However, patients do need to take immunosuppressive medication for life, and both the risk of rejection, as well as the complications of immunosuppression can impair a long term survival.

So though we tell our patients that somewhere between 85 and 90 % will be alive at one year, and somewhere around 85 to 90% of them will be alive at five years. The problems of immunosuppression, where current diseases like Hepatitis C, and the other things that can impair their life are still issues, and so patients need ongoing medical care, there's much more close than aged matched people who have inter liver transplants.

After a transplant most of their prior lifestyle can be resumed. We do expect a few different changes first, they have to worry about infection we don't like patients changing the card letter box or doing anything that will put them at risk for getting an inner low bone infection. Some programs restrict raw foods and other foods, I am much more liberal than most in that regard, I don't think that there's so much risk from most foods that you can eat.

We obviously don't want our patients to drink alcohol because alcohol can one, damage the new liver as well as interact with the immune suppressing medications and cause a problem. So as I said earlier, I expect my patients to live their lives just with a little extra care over what they would do normally.