Liver transplant in India

The liver is the largest organ in the body weighing about 3 pounds in adults. It is located below the diaphragm on the right side of the abdomen. The liver performs many of the complex functions in the body such as

  • ¨ Prepares proteins needed by the body
  • ¨ Metabolizes and breaks down nutrients from the food when needed
  • ¨ Stores vitamins, minerals, and sugar
  • ¨ Prepares bile, a component needed to digest food and absorb essential nutrients such as vitamin A, E, B, and K
  • ¨ Helps the body to fight against infections by removing bacteria from the blood.

When the liver no longer functions adequately, it results in a condition called liver failure. The liver transplantation is a surgical procedure to remove the damaged liver and replace it with a healthy liver from the donor.

The liver failure can be classified into 2 types:

  • Acute liver failure
  • Chronic liver failure

The liver failure may occur all of a sudden which is called as acute liver failure. It may be a result of viral hepatitis, drug-induced infection or a result of the long-term problem. The chronic liver failure may occur due to the following reasons:

  • Chronic hepatitis with cirrhosis
  • Primary biliary cirrhosis in which the immune system attacks the bile duct.
  • Alcoholism
  • Biliary atresia, a condition that affects the liver of the newborns.

Who are eligible for a liver transplantation?

A team of doctors will evaluate your medical history and perform certain tests to choose candidates for a liver transplant. You will have to submit all your medical records such as liver biopsy slides, records of medications etc. the patient will then be subjected to one or all of the following tests:

  • ¨ CT scan
  • ¨ Doppler ultrasound- to determine if the blood vessels to nd from the liver are open.
  • ¨ ECG to check the heart function
  • ¨ Blood test to determine the blood type, clotting ability and biochemical status of the blood.

How does the liver transplant waiting list work?

  • If you are an active liver transplant candidate then your name will be put up on the list.
  • Patients are categorized depending on the blood type, body size, and medical condition.
  • Each patient is given a priority score based on 3 simple blood tests. It is called as MELD (model of end-stage liver disease) in adults & PELD (pediatric end-stage liver disease) in children.
  • The patients with the highest score and acute liver failure are given first priority.

Where does a liver for transplant come from?

There are basically two types of donors;

  • Living donors
  • Deceased donors

Living donor liver transplant is an option for some patients with end-stage liver failure. A segment of liver from a healthy patient is taken and is implanted into the recipient. Both the donor and recipient liver segments will grow to normal size within few weeks.

In deceased donor liver transplant, the donor may be a victim of brain dead. In this case, the transplant surgery is usually done in an ICU.

A close match in tissue or blood type will reveal that your body is ready to accept the new liver provided you don’t suffer from other chronic diseases such as heart or lung infections.

What happens during a transplant?

The transplant surgery will take about 6 to 12 hours. It is a major operation and the surgeon will place several tubes in your body. These tubes are helpful for your body to perform several other operations during the surgery and even after it for a few days. The damaged liver will be removed from the body and is replaced with the donor liver.

Steps involved in liver transplants:

  • Pre-evaluation for liver transplant:

     Once the doctor decides that the liver transplantation is the only option to cure the liver disease, he checks the patients thoroughly to see if he/she is fit to undergo the surgery.

  • Registration with liver transplant hospital:

      After a complete investigation by the hepatologist, the patient has to register in the liver transplant hospital as a candidate for liver transplantation.

  • Getting a donor liver:

     The next step is finding the donor liver for the surgery. If it is from a live donor then the surgery can be performed within few days on the other hand if it is deceased donor liver, then one has to wait for a long time until they receive the right liver. Once the hospital receives the donor liver, then they will immediately contact the patient and make arrangements with the surgery dates.

  • Undergoing the liver transplant surgery:

Once the donor liver reaches the hospital, then the medical team will begin with the surgery procedures. The surgery of both the patient and the donor begins simultaneously. The surgery will take about 10-14 hours or even more in the case of live donor surgery.

  • Post-operation hospital stay:

   The recipient has to stay in the hospital for about 3 weeks while the donor can be discharged within 10 days.

Recovery after a liver transplant:

  Recovery after a liver transplant surgery is a very gradual process and the complete recovery will take about 1 year. It mainly depends on the general health of the patient before the surgery. One will have to continue taking immunosuppressant even after the complete recovery because there are greater chances that the body will reject the donor liver. You will have to have constant follow-ups with your doctor and maintain a strict diet as prescribed by the physician.

Complications associated with the surgery:

  • Severe infection
  • Rejection of donor liver
  • Bleeding
  • Failure of donor’s liver
  • Reaction to anesthesia used for the surgery

Precautions after the liver transplant:

  • Maintain high standards of hygiene to avoid any infection
  • Drink boiled water
  • Quit alcohol & smoking
  • Regular exercise daily


One will have to stay in the hospital for 2 to 3 weeks after the surgery. The nurse will tell you about your medications and how to check your own pulse and blood pressure. Before your discharge, you will also learn the signs of rejection and infection so that you can consult your doctor in case of emergency.


The cost of liver transplants in India:

Liver transplant is the most expensive surgical procedure. The average cost of liver transplant in India is about INR 20,00,000 to 30,00,000.  It depends on various factors like the hospital you choose, the surgeon and other medical conditions.

There will be some recurring expenses after the surgery. After the transplant, for the first 5 to 6 months you will have to spend INR 25,000 per month, the next 6 months the expenses will be around INR 18,000 per month, and thereafter INR 10,000 to 15,000 per month. The cost of a live donor is more expensive than the deceased donor liver.

International patients in India for liver transplants:

India has some of the best trained, skilled and experienced surgeons. This has attracted a large number of international patients to India. A large influx of international patients from U.S, U.K, UAE, Africa, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, etc visit India for the liver transplant surgery. The main reason why many international patients prefer India for the surgery procedure is despite being the most expensive procedure in India, it is affordable when compared to other countries. The cost in India is one-twentieth the cost in other countries. Once you plan for the surgery it is better to be well aware of the finance and make decisions well in advance. As an international patient, you will also have to schedule your travel, accommodation and food expenses and fit them into your budget.

Possible risks after the surgery:

After a successful liver transplantation, about 95% of the patients are advised to take care of infections and other anti-rejection medicines for life. The transplant surgery can lead to many complications like rejection, infection, narrowing of blood vessels, etc.

The best liver transplant surgeons in India:

  India has some of the best trained, skilled and experienced surgeons for the liver transplant surgery. The thousands of cases the surgeons handle every year and successful transplantations they have done has attracted patients even from international residents. Some of the best liver transplant surgeons in India are listed below:

  • Mohamed Rela
  • A.S. Soin
  • Suresh Singhvi
  • Vivek Vij
  • Abhideep Chaudary
  • Chetan Kataria
  • Ragul Kakodar
  • A. Olithselvan
  • Mathew Jacob
  • Moh .A. Nayeem
  • Naimesh Mehta

Some of the best liver transplant hospitals in India:

The following are some of the best centers or hospitals for liver transplant surgery in India:

  • Medanta- the medicity
  • Fortis malar
  • Sir Ganga ram hospital
  • Apollo hospital
  • Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani hospital
  • Jaypee hospital
  • BLK hospital
  • KEM hospital
  • Artemis health & research institute
  • L.H. Hiranandani hospital
  • Breach candy hospital
  • Lilavati hospital
  • Global hospital

To know more about these top hospitals and surgeons in India, contact us on Free Doctor Helpline or call us at +918010555444. We can help you provide more details about them and help you make a wise choice in choosing your hospital and surgeon.

The costs at various stages are also listed above. Any queries in that don’t hesitate to contact us and get more details. If you have any health insurance you can even claim them with the health centers and get concessions on the treatment charges.

We see Indian hospitals as a reliable and appropriate location for organ transplants not just for Indian patients but also for people from international countries. So if you or your loved ones are recommended an organ transplant, you need not worry. We will land you in the safe hands at the best hospital in the country. Freedoctorhelpline is happy to advise you about some of the best hospitals and surgeons with high quality and surgeries at affordable rates. Thus we make your work simpler.

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