Benefits and risks of a liver transplant
How a liver transplant can help and problems that might occur
- A liver transplant is the best treatment for some patients with end-stage liver disease
- Most people who have a liver transplant do very well
- However, not every patient feels better or lives longer after having a transplant
- There can be serious risks from the surgery and the transplant medicines
What are the benefits?
In selected patients, a liver transplant is usually the best treatment for liver failure in patients who are fit enough for the operation.
Main advantages of a successful liver transplant:
- Most liver transplant patients live longer
- Most enjoy a better quality of life
- Less chance of dying from liver disease
- Most people say they have extra energy
- More likely to return to normal activities such as work and travel
What are the risks?
A liver transplant requires complex surgery and can cause problems for some patients.
Main complications of a liver transplant:
- It is a major operation and comes with surgical risks, like bleeding
- Infections and bile duct complications are common after a liver transplant
- You will need to take strong medicines to suppress your immune system
- You may need further surgery to fix any problems
- It is possible that the transplanted liver doesn’t work properly
Average survival statistics
93 out of 100
Patients are alive one year after a liver transplant*
83 out of 100
Patients are alive five years after a liver transplant*
Discuss your options with your doctor
If you’re considering a liver transplant, your first step is to talk to your liver doctor.
If you and your doctor agree a liver transplant may be a good treatment for you, they will arrange for you to have a series of tests.