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June 12,2019
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Did You know about these Myths of Liver Transplant?

The liver performs as a powerhouse of an organ. The body’s second largest organ (after the skin) is responsible for a host of functions, right from fighting infection and helping on blood clotting, to manufacturing proteins and hormones.

Taking medications on an empty stomach, excessive alcoholism, or virus attack may cause liver damage. Physicians may try to use medications and dietary changes to counter this issue. However, in case of excessive damage, they may not be as effective. As a last resort, the person may have to undergo a liver transplant to be carried out at a reliable hospital.

What is liver transplant?

This is a surgical procedure involving the removal of the part of the liver that has lost its functionality. After removal, it is replaced with a healthier liver (either wholly or in part).

There has been a lot of misconceptions around the basics of liver transplantation and liver donors. Today we try to bust some of the most common myths.

Myth 1 – Only adults get liver disease


In the US, there are 15,000 reported cases for pediatric liver disease. Many cases are due to genetic reasons. However, an early onset of obesity too is emerging as a major cause of liver disease in children.

Myth 2–It’s better to get a liver transplant from a living person rather than a dead person


This isn’t true. There have been many cases where a deceased person’s liver was used in the liver transplantation process. The key is that the source and destination would have to be compatible. Also, it is crucial to remove the liver within the stipulated time. These considerations hold true for liver transplantation from a living as well as a deceased donor.

Myth 3 – It is mandatory that the donor is related to the patient


It is not essential for the donor and the patient to be related by blood. More than the relationship, it is important to ensure that the liver being transplanted is compatible with the patient body

Myth 4 – A donor will be dependent on medications for his/her lifetime after the liver transplant


Again, this is not true. It is true that the donor may be dependent on medications to recover after the transplant. But this is temporary only until the donor’s body makes a complete recovery. After this phase, there is no need to go for medications.

Myth 4 – My religion doesn’t allow me to donate organs


By registering as an organ donor, you make sure to save a lot of lives. As a result, you can serve humanity. Also, none of the religions will preach to allow a person to die because of religious restrictions as it is a noble deed.

Myth 5 – A poor patient is placed on a lower priority than a rich person


Any new request for liver transplant is decided upon by a team of doctors depending on various considerations. These include the severity of the disease, the urgency of organ needed, and the compatibility of the donor with the patient. At no point in time, is financial stability or affluence considered. So, this myth is truly a myth.

Myth 6 – Female donors cannot have children after donation


This is not true at all. Yes, female donors do have to wait for one year after the transplantation to try for children. However, they are as capable as other normal females to have children.When trying for pregnancy, it is recommended to go with the physician’s suggestions and let him/her know about your past noble deed as a liver donor.

Myth 7 – Patients and donors need to have the same blood group


The donor and the patient need to have a compatible blood type. But they need not have the same blood group. Every group has some form of compatibility with other blood groups. For example, O blood group is considered a universal blood group. This means that O blood group people can be donors for any patient blood group.

To sign off

These were some of the common myths around liver transplant and liver donation. Be aware of these details and make the right decision before going for a liver transplant at a good hospital.

Join Our TPAF Facebook Group –  The Pravin Agarwal Foundation (TPAF) Support group, created to form a network of families/caregivers of children who suffer from Liver Disease. We would request to join the platform to share experiences & concerns, provide emotional & social support and encourage one another in this journey. Join us now!

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