There is a strict assessment process that decides who can have a liver transplant, as donated livers are scarce, both in the UK and worldwide.
Under UK regulations you are usually only considered a suitable candidate for a liver transplant if you meet two conditions:
Transplant centres use a scoring system to calculate the risk of a person dying if a transplant isn't performed.
In the UK, the system is known as theUnited Kingdom Model for End-Stage Liver Disease (UKELD). This is based onthe result of a series of four Blood tests thatcreate an average score. The higher your UKELD score and your risk of death, the higher up the waiting list you will be.
Assessing your quality of life can be a subjective process. However, the following symptoms represent a decline in quality of life that many people would find intolerable:
The assessment of your likely survival rate is based on:
Tests will also be carried out to assess your health and your likelihood of survival. This can include examining your heart, lungs, kidneys and liver, as well aschecking for any signs of liver cancer .
Even if you meet the above criteria, you may not be considered for a transplant if you have a condition that could affect the chances of success. For example, it's unlikelythat you will beoffered a liver transplant if you have:
Additionally, a liver transplant will not be offered if you continue to misuse alcohol or drugs. Most transplant centres only consider a person for a transplant if they haven'thad alcohol or used recreational drugs for at least afew months.
A liver transplant is an operation to remove a diseased or damaged liver and replace it with a healthy one.
There is a strict assessment process that is used to decide who can have a liver transplant, as donated livers are scarce both in the UK and around the world.
Due to the lack of available livers, it's rarely possible to have a liver transplant as soon as it's needed, so you'll usually be placed on a waiting list.
You will be contacted by staff at the liver transplant centre as soon as a suitable liver becomes available.
Recovering from a liver transplant can be a long, slow process, but most people will eventually be able to return to most of their normal activities and have a good quality of life.
Complications of a liver transplant can include rejection, an increased risk of infection, graft failure, biliary conditions and a higher risk of developing certain conditions.
Shohanna Newman-Kidd likes dancing, running and painting rainbows, but she's had to fight hard to enjoy doing what other children take for granted.
When Gordon Bridewell was rushed from the West Country to London on New Year's Eve 1975 to undergo a pioneering liver transplant, he was also travelling into the record books.