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Living Donor Liver Transplant (LDLT)

  • What is Living Donor Liver Transplant (LDLT)?

    LDLT has become an important and effective life-saving procedure, in particular for those with acute liver failure and hepatocellular carcinoma. The current waiting period for a cadaveric donor liver is much too long to benefit patients with these rapidly progressive diseases. Without LDLT, it is highly unlikely that patients will be transplanted before they develop fatal complications. Besides being an alternative source of donor livers, the other advantages of LDLT over cadaveric organ donation are:

    • It allows scheduling of the procedure. As such, the patient with decompensated liver function can be optimised prior to the operation.
    • The quality of the graft is better as it is retrieved from a healthy donor and the cold ischaemic time is much shorter.
  • The liver is the largest internal organ in one's body. It is a complex organ that works non-stop, 24 hours a day, detoxifying just about everything that enters the body. It plays a vital role in regulating life processes – virtually all the blood returning from the intestinal tract to the heart passes through the liver. Anything that we consume is absorbed into the bloodstream, which passes through the liver. Therefore, the liver is essential to our life.

    The liver's sheer complexity makes it susceptible to many different diseases - including liver diseases like chronic hepatitis which leads to liver cirrhosis, unknown cause of liver failure or biliary diseases in adults, as well as biliary atresia in children and adolescents.

    When the liver fails, a liver transplant provides hope for you and your family. Liver transplant offers as the last option for patients with end-stage liver disease.

  • In adults, the most common reason for liver transplantation is cirrhosis. Cirrhosis can be caused by viruses such as Hepatitis B and C, alcohol, autoimmune liver diseases, build-up of fat in the liver, or hereditary liver diseases.

    In children, the most common reason for liver transplantation is biliary atresia. Bile ducts, which are tubes that carry bile out of the liver, are missing or damaged in this disease, and obstructed bile causes cirrhosis.

    Other reasons for transplantation include liver cancer, benign liver tumours and hereditary diseases. Sometimes, the cause of liver disease is unknown, and this is called cryptogenic.