Liver Transplant Success Rate in Children and Adolescents


There are so many transplants now being carried out. Transplant surgery is the last option when there is severe damage to many organs in the body. Transplant surgery, however, is not a simple procedure. It involves a lot of preparation and also a donor. But even if you get a donor, the success rate is another issue. In this article, we will take a look at the liver transplant success rate to give you an idea of what to expect if you want to undergo a liver transplant surgery.

So a liver transplant is carried out on something with a liver problem. Take note that not all liver problems would need a liver transplant. Some conditions are mild and would only need other treatment methods.

But for some very severe conditions, the only way out is a liver transplant. Most patients who opt for a liver transplant also consider the success rate. For today we will just be concentrating on the success rate of liver transplant in children and adolescents.

When Does a Person Need Liver Transplant

Take note that not everyone with a liver problem gets a liver transplant. The only time a liver transplant is required is when the liver can no longer function adequately. And this is what is called liver failure.

Liver failure can be either acute or chronic. Acute liver failure happens suddenly and can be a result of infection, drugs, or viral hepatitis. If it is chronic, it is often because of a long-term problem. There are different causes of chronic liver failure. Some of them are:

  • Cirrhosis
  • Alcoholism
  • Biliary atresia
  • Primary biliary cholangitis
  • Wilson’s disease
  • Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency
  • Hemochromatosis

What To Expect

Before the procedure

So before carrying out the liver transplant, several tests would be done. Liver function tests would first be carried out. That would help determine how bad the damage is. Also, the Model for End-Stage Liver Disease ( MELD) or Pediatric End-Stage Liver Disease (PELD) is done. A score is gotten, and it is the score that would help with determining how severe the situation is.

The score ranges from 6-40. A scoring system helps with the estimation of the risk of death of a patient within the next 90 days if the person doesn’t undergo a transplant. If the score is high, this means the patient needs the transplant urgently.

Some liver problems will not yield a high score. But, then again, they need an urgent transplant. Because of this, their names are usually placed on the top of the list for those waiting for donors.

When it comes to waiting for a donor, it can take quite some time. For some people, it would be just days. While for some, they would wait for as long as months.

Your donor can either be living or dead. If the donor is living, then a segment of the liver is gotten. And then the doctor would implant it in the patient. For both the donor and the recipient, the liver would grow back into its normal size within a few weeks.

Most times, the living donor is a family member or friend. And there are also times the person is not related to the patient. In choosing a donor a lot of factors are being looked at. Such as blood type, age, and body size.

As for dead donors, they are deceased patients that either had an accident or had a head injury. The donor’s heart would still be functioning, but the patient most likely is brain dead. In this case, the identity of the donor, as well as the cause of death, is kept confidential.

Make sure that while waiting for a transplant, you stay healthy. Take your medications and make sure to follow a healthy diet. Also, make sure you keep up to your appointments. And also try as much as you can to do some healthy activities.

During the procedure

You will be unconscious while the liver transplant is being carried out. The surgery takes as long as 12 hours. And this is dependent on what the situation is.

After the procedure

You are expected to:

  • Stay in the ICU for some days
  • Spend about 5-10 days in the hospital
  • Go for regular checkups while recovering
  • Take your medications, most of them are for the rest of your life

The recovery time for a liver transplant is about six months. After that, you would feel completely okay. And by that time, you would be able to return to your normal daily activities. Usually, the recovery time is dependent on how sick you were just before the surgery.

Liver Transplant Success Rate in Children and Adolescents

The success rate of a liver transplant is dependent on the situation of things. For adolescents, the success rate is quite good. About 80% of them survive for more than 10 yrs. It means that if 10 adolescents get a liver transplant, 8 of them will live for 10 years, while 2 would die within 10 years. 

For children, the success rate is also good. They have a success rate of about 80% for 20 years. 

Wensplant helps increase life span. So you have nothing to be worried about since the different ages have a good liver transplant success rate.

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