Liver transplant is a treatment for patients diagnosed with (1) liver cancer (Hepatocellular carcinoma), (2) acute liver failure or (3) end-stage liver disease caused by conditions such as viral hepatitis, cirrhosis or liver damage from alcohol or drug abuse.
The Singapore General Hospital’s Liver Transplant Programme was set up in 2005. Since then, more than 60 life-saving transplants have been performed.
Unless the liver damage is fairly severe or advanced, diseases of the liver are often “silent” and patients may not be aware of any problems. The signs and symptoms of liver disease are related to the various liver functions.
Different liver diseases may affect some functions more than others, resulting in variability between patients.
If your liver disease is progressive and liver transplantation may be the appropriate treatment, you will be referred to the liver transplant co-ordinator. Arrangements will be made for you to meet the liver specialist (hepatologist) for an assessment. A variety of tests will be carried out to confirm the diagnosis, assess the extent of your disease and gauge your suitability for liver transplantation. The assessment period may take up to 3-5 days in hospital.
If you’re suitable to receive a transplant, your liver transplant team will discuss the best option with you. One option is to undergo a deceased donor liver transplant. If this is the right choice for you and you are medically suitable, you’ll be added to the waiting list. As soon as a suitable donor is identified, you’ll be admitted to hospital to undergo transplant surgery.