Are you considering a liver transplant? This is a major medical procedure that involves replacing a damaged liver with a healthy one. It’s a valid option to consider if you’re suffering from serious conditions like liver cirrhosis. In this condition, you might want to know details about the cost of a liver transplant including how much does a liver transplant cost without insurance. If you don’t have health insurance it’s an issue worth considering since it will logically boost the out-of-pocket expenses. It’s been said that “health is wealth” but sometimes the opposite is also true. We sometimes need money to stay healthy.
It’s common for liver transplant candidates to consider subsidizing the costs of the liver transplant through health insurance. Fun Fact: The average list prices for liver transplants are about $330,000. The actual costs tend to be less than one-third of that price tag at $100,400. This is a much more reasonable price but there’s much more to the process of getting a new liver besides the cost. For example, a special committee will review your situation to determine whether or not you should be considered for an organ transplant. There are various reasons why you might be disqualified including not having enough live damage.
What Exactly Is a Liver Transplant?
This procedure involves using a partial/whole liver to replace a diseased liver. The human liver is one of the “vital organs” that is necessary for living. It has many important functions like removing toxins from the blood, etc. The liver is also important for processing various enzymes and proteins.
There are two channels that blood use to enter the liver. They bring oxygen/nutrients to the organ cells. There are an important artery and vein involved in the process. The process is very complex but critical for the liver to function properly. Bile is a liquid the liver produces, which helps to melt fat and get rid of waste/toxins through the intestine.
Another important function of the liver involves the “bile ducts.” These function like a river to form a special duct that takes bile to the intestine.
Liver transplant surgery involves removing the diseased/failing liver and replacing it with a healthy/normal one. Today this medical procedure is the only cure for liver failure since no single machine can handle all liver functions. There are various liver conditions that can require a liver transplant.
One of the main reasons for liver transplants is something called Acute Liver Failure. This happens when a previously healthy liver experiences an injury. This results in signs/symptoms that the liver is malfunctioning. Various factors can cause this condition but the main cause is:
- Tylenol overdose
- Ingesting toxins
- Viral infections
- Drug reactions
Then there’s something called Chronic Liver Failure. The liver can repair very effectively due to illness/injury. However, when this happens over several years or decades this results in permanent liver scars. Cirrhosis is the end-state condition of liver disease. At this point, the liver is unable to fix itself.
After a person has cirrhosis there might be signs of liver function issues. Medicines might lower liver failure’s systems but liver transplants are the only long-lasting cure.
How Much Does a Liver Transplant Cost without Insurance?
The average cost of liver transplant surgery with insurance can be relatively low at an average of $100,400. This isn’t “cheap” but much lower than the average cost if you don’t have insurance. Based on research that figure is up to $575,000. The figure can be even higher but that’s generally the maximum price tag if the patient foots the entire bill.
Just as important as the total cost is knowing what’s usually included:
Patients are required to take these medications for the rest of their lives after transplant surgery. These drugs can be quite costly and cost $3,000+ per month. However, the good news is health insurance companies usually cover the costs.
In some cases, a patient requires a second transplant if the first implanted liver starts to fail. Studies show that about one-third of livers given by donors with diseases fail within half a decade. Meanwhile, this happens to over 45% of them within a period of 10 years. So this is an issue to consider.
This is one of the most important parts of the process of allowing medical professionals to determine if you’re a good organ transplant. This process doesn’t just involve the organ’s receiver but also a living donor if one is involved.
Besides the waiting list of organ transplant candidates, there’s also the waiting list. This is based on several factors but one of the main ones is your MELD score. This helps to determine how urgently you need a new liver. So getting on the waiting list is just part of the process.
Besides the liver transplant surgery itself there are often complications that can be quite costly, In fact, they can have price tags of hundreds of thousands of US dollars. This is based on the particular complications that take place.
Top Tips for a Healthier Liver
1. Avoid high amounts of medicines
There are ones you should watch out for in particular like Tylenol. The reason is they’re more likely to cause health issues than others. There are other prescription drugs that can cause issues so make sure to learn about which ones to avoid high amounts of.
2. Eat healthily and exercise regularly
These are important steps to take to help treat and prevent liver conditions ranging from fatty liver to liver cirrhosis. A healthy diet involves food like lean meats, whole grains, fresh fruits/veggies, nuts/seeds, and dairy.
Meanwhile, what’s “regular” exercise all about? Make sure you’re doing moderate/high-intensity exercising most days of the week. Even when you can’t get to the gym make sure you’re doing at least 30 minutes of light exercise including stair-climbing, biking, jogging, hiking, and so on.
3. Quit smoking
There are lots of reasons you should consider doing this. However, one is it can affect the liver’s ability to get rid of toxins. While it’s a good idea to minimize your alcohol consumption it’s also wise to consider quitting smoking cold turkey. Consider that when you light a cigarette it’s producing 100+ toxic chemicals.
4. Avoid being overweight/obese
The most obvious way is through your body weight. However, another thing to keep an eye on is the “body mass index.” This is related to body fat, which is another critical issue that can cause obesity. It’s important to eat healthy food and live an active lifestyle.
5. Don’t drink heavy amounts of alcohol
The general guidelines are two daily drinks for men and one for women. Studies show that a moderate amount of alcoholic beverages can provide several health benefits. However, there are some caveats. This is based on the type and amount of alcohol. For example, there’s a big difference between glass and a bottle of wine to help prevent needing to learn how much does a liver transplant cost.