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Liver Transplant Treatment: Procedure, Costs & Hospitals in India

Liver Transplant Treatment: Procedure, Costs & Hospitals in India

  • January 21, 2023

Liver Transplant

A liver transplant is a surgical procedure in which a healthy liver from another person is used to replace a failing liver. You have the option of receiving an entire liver from a deceased donor or just a portion of one from a living donor. A liver that has been divided can grow back to full size in both your body and the body of the living donor.

Can you survive without a liver transplant?

Without a healthy liver, it is impossible to live. A liver transplant could save your life if your liver is failing or you have primary liver cancer. Your liver can stop working for a variety of reasons, such as acute conditions like toxic poisoning and chronic liver diseases. There are significantly more people who require liver transplants than there are available donor livers.

What conditions can be treated with a liver transplant?

  • (Either acute or chronic) Liver Failure.
  • Hepatocellular carcinoma (a type of primary liver cancer).

How long can you live if you don’t get a liver transplant?

It is possible to recover from acute liver failure, but this cannot be predicted. Those who don’t recover could die in a matter of days. The progression of chronic liver failure is more gradual. While waiting for a liver transplant, people with cirrhosis can live with the condition for months or years; however, complications like portal hypertension make the need for one more pressing.

It’s possible that your primary liver cancer is still in its early stages if you’re waiting for a liver transplant to treat it. If cancer has not yet spread beyond your liver, liver transplant surgery is the only treatment option. However, the majority of individuals with primary liver cancer also suffer from chronic liver disease. Consequently, your outlook is influenced by numerous individual factors.


Before or prior to the process.

  • The intensity of your illness, the urgency with which you require a transplant, and your place on the liver transplant waiting list will all be determined by the results of your liver function tests and other factors.
  • A scoring system determines priority on the transplant waiting list. For adults, doctors use the Model for End-Stage Liver Disease (MELD) score, while for children younger than 12, they use the PELD score.
  • Your MELD score, which can range anywhere from 6 to 40, will be determined by your doctor using a specific formula. Without a transplant, the score gives an estimate of the likelihood of death within 90 days. A high MELD score indicates that a transplant is required immediately.
  • Organs donated by deceased donors are sorted by blood type and assigned based on MELD scores as they become available. Donated livers are typically given to those with higher MELD scores first. People with the same MELD scores and blood types are separated during the time spent on the liver transplant waiting list.
  • A person may not receive a high MELD score if they have certain liver conditions, such as liver cancer. If the exception criteria are met, the transplant center can request additional MELD points for individuals with particular diseases.
  • Adults with acute liver failure are also exempt from the MELD-based donor organ prioritization system and, depending on the severity of their condition, may be placed higher on the transplant waiting list.

Awaiting a fresh liver.

  • The time it takes to obtain a donor’s liver can vary greatly. Some people receive a liver from a deceased donor in a matter of days, while others may never receive one at all.
  • Your doctor will treat the complications of liver failure to ensure your comfort while you wait for a new liver.
  • End-stage liver failure has serious complications, and you may need to be hospitalized frequently. Your MELD score is updated if your liver is damaged.

Donors of live livers.

  • Living donors account for only a small portion of the liver transplants performed annually. Surgeons transplant a small portion of a living, healthy liver in these instances. Due to the scarcity of suitable organs from deceased donors, children who required liver transplants were initially given liver transplants from living donors. It is now available for adults with end-stage liver disease as well.
  • An alternative to waiting for a liver from a deceased donor, living-donor liver transplants enable the organ recipient to avoid potential health issues associated with waiting for a transplant. Finding a healthy living donor who is able to safely undergo a major surgical procedure is the first step. When determining whether you and the donor are a match for a living-donor liver transplant, other important factors include the donor’s age, blood type, and organ size.
  • The majority of living liver donors are the transplant candidate’s closest friends or family members. Talk to your transplant team about this option if a friend or family member is willing to donate some of their liver to you.
  • Transplants using livers from deceased donors and living donors both have positive outcomes. However, finding a living donor can be challenging. To ensure that they are a suitable match for the organ recipient and to assess their mental and physical health, potential liver donors undergo extensive testing. The donor is also exposed to significant risks during the procedure.

Keep your health.

  • Work to stay healthy whether you’re waiting for a donated liver or your transplant surgery is already scheduled. Being fit and healthy can increase your chances of being ready for transplant surgery when the time comes. Additionally, it might speed up your recovery from surgery.
  • Keep all of your appointments with your healthcare team, follow the instructions for your diet and exercise, and take your medications as directed.
  • Participate in healthy activities, such as relaxing and spending time with friends and family.
  • Keep in touch with your transplant team and inform them of any significant changes in your health.
  • If you are waiting for a liver to be donated, make sure the transplant team always knows how to contact you.
  • Make advance plans for transportation to the transplant center and keep your packed hospital bag ready.

After the procedure:

  • Possibly spend a few days in the intensive care unit. Your condition will be monitored by doctors and nurses to look for signs of complications. They will also frequently check your liver function to see if your new liver is working.
  • Stay in the hospital for five to ten days. You are transferred to a transplant recovery area to continue your recovery once you are stable.
  • As you continue to recover at home, have regular checkups. You will get a schedule for your checkups from your transplant team. At first, you might have blood tests done a few times a week, but over time, they might be done less often.
  • For the rest of your life, take your medications. After your liver transplant, you will need a number of medications. Many of them will need to be taken every day for the rest of your life. Immunosuppressants are medications that prevent your immune system from attacking your new liver. After your transplant, other medications help lower the likelihood of additional complications.
  • Before you feel completely healed from your liver transplant surgery, you should anticipate a recovery period of at least six months. After surgery, you might be able to go back to your normal activities or work again in a few months. The intensity of your illness prior to your liver transplant may affect how long it takes you to recover.


  • Cost of a Liver Transplant in India On average, a liver transplant in India will cost between INR 20 lakh and INR 30 lakh, according to an estimate. When compared to the cost of the same treatment and care in hospitals in developed nations, this cost is significantly lower.
  • The type of liver transplant surgery, the hospital, the patient’s overall health, medical reports, and treatment duration (pre-treatment, during treatment, and post-treatment conditions) all play a role in how much a liver transplant will cost. Patients or their legal guardians should discuss the cost of a liver transplant prior to surgery because the exact cost of treatment varies based on these factors.
  • The cost of a liver transplant in India is only a small fraction of what it is in the United States, the United Kingdom, Turkey, Thailand, or Singapore. However, there is no difference in the success rates, the expertise of the surgeons, hospitality, infrastructure, or the quality of care provided by the medical team. Because of this, India is the best option for patients who want to save money on liver transplant surgery.
  • The low cost of liver transplant surgery in India has established itself as a global standard. The skilled liver transplant surgeons at Shalby Hospitals are well-known for their track record of success and for upholding global standards for quality medical care at a reasonable price. This hospital is an option for patients hoping for a successful liver transplant at a reasonable cost.


  • Delhi’s Indraprastha Apollo Hospital: One of the nation’s best liver transplantation programs can be found at this multi-superiority hospital. The hospital provides cutting-edge medical facilities and the most recent technology for liver transplants.
  • Gurugram’s Narayana Health Multispeciality Hospital: Some of the most skilled and experienced liver transplant surgeons in India make up the Narayana team. It has the cutting-edge infrastructure to provide patients with high-quality medical care.
  • Noida, Jaypee: It features some of the most outstanding liver transplant surgeons who use successful surgical techniques to treat patients with liver failure and related issues. The doctors’ knowledge of living donor transplants, short recovery times, and comprehensive care is unparalleled. It ranks among the world’s best liver hospitals.
  • Delhi’s Sir Ganga Ram Hospital: It offers world-class service for cadaveric and living donor liver transplants thanks to cutting-edge facilities and infrastructure. An experienced multidisciplinary team at the hospital is available to assist with all aspects of liver transplantation.
  • Medanta, Gurugram’s Medicity: Medanta is one of India’s top ten liver transplant hospitals, and its success rate for liver transplants is as high as 95%. It has experience treating children under 10 kilograms and has the largest and most successful pediatric liver transplant program in India. Additionally, it has the second-largest program in the world for living donor liver transplants.

You may be interested in: Medical Tourism For Organ Transplants: Everything You Need To Know


Can a person travel while on the waiting list for a liver transplant?

  • It is safe for many patients to travel. However, before they leave, they should inquire with their physician and provide the transplant coordinator with their destination, contact information, and phone numbers.