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Is a liver transplant indicated for cirrhosis?

Q: My mother has cirrhosis of the liver and hepatitis C. She has already vomited thrice. Now we are in Singapore. Here the liver expert advised for a transplant but the cost is very high so I want to do it in India. My mother is 50 years old. I want to know the survival rate for her?

A:Cirrhosis of the liver is the replacement of normal liver tissue by scar tissue (fibrosis) which blocks the flow of blood through the organ and prevents it normal functioning. The progression of liver injury to cirrhosis may occur over weeks to years. This injury to liver may by a single event (acute hepatitis); by regular injury over months or years (biliary tract blockage or chronic hepatitis); or by continuous injury (alcohol abuse). The most common causes of cirrhosis are: Hepatitis (B & C), Alcoholic liver disease, Cryptogenic causes and other miscellaneous causes. The loss of liver function affects the body in many ways and can lead to portal hypertension, hepatic encephalopathy, gastrointestinal bleeding, infection, fluid retention (ascites) and hepato-renal syndrome. Most treatment for cirrhosis is directed toward relief of complications as it cannot reverse liver damage but it can stop or slow progression of the disease. It depends on the underlying cause and the type of complication present. The only definitive treatment is liver transplantation in which the diseased liver is removed and replaced with a healthy liver from a donor. The survival rate is about 80-90%. Supportive care before and after the procedure is very important in determining success. This facility is available in many major hospitals in India including Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, Apollo Indraprastha and AIIMS in New Delhi, Global Hospital in Hyderabad, SGPGIMS in Lucknow, CMC-Vellore, SRMC and Stanley Medical College in Chennai, Jaslok Hospital and PD Hinduja Hospital in Mumbai. You could go to the websites of these hospitals and check further details.

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