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What Happens During a Liver Transplant from Alcoholism?

What Happens During a Liver Transplant from Alcoholism?

May 15, 2018 | Alcohol Addiction, QA

Alcohol-Related Liver Disease (ARLD) is an ailment that is caused by a spectrum of damages through the abundance of heavy alcohol intake. 21,000 Americans have been reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to die of complications of ARLD. Years of alcohol abuse can damage the liver making it inflamed and swollen and eventually causing scarring known as cirrhosis. Once a person gets cirrhosis, they are in what are known as the final stages of liver disease which cannot be reversed and may lead them to liver failure. Without a working liver, a person will die.

If someone’s liver begins to work improperly, there may be a chance that they may need a transplant. A liver transplant can be administered to patients that do not have a problem with alcohol and to others that have cirrhosis from alcoholism. Because of the limited amount of livers that are available for transplant, there is controversy on whether a person that excessively drinks alcohol should receive a liver. Part of the controversy is about the fact that someone who drank in copious amounts could now possibly get a liver before someone that did not damage their liver but instead has problems from natural causes.

The process of a liver transplant is not as black and white as someone might think. There is a whole format that must take place before a person that drinks alcoholically will receive a liver. For someone that has a history of drinking heavily, they will have to prove to a transplant board that they have quit drinking for at least six months with no motive to pick up drinking after they have undergone surgery. The transplant assessment process consists of a psychological and social evaluation, blood tests for finding a donor match, and diagnostic testing that will provide results with general health to see if the patient can withstand a major surgery.

Once the surgery takes place, the diseased liver will literally be cut away from the blood vessels to be removed from the body and then replaced with the healthy donor liver. The recovery time in the ICU can be for several days depending on the patient’s prognosis and the hospital stay can be anywhere from one to two weeks. Healthcare professionals will make sure that the liver is responding well with the other organs in the body and that the anti-rejection medication are doing their job of keeping the body from attacking the foreign organ while weakening a person’s immune system.  

Sobriety and anti-rejection medications must be on the list of daily things to do without fail to survive after surgery. A liver transplant is an arduous process that focuses on staying alive through the gift of life.

If you or someone you know is struggling with alcoholism or addiction, you should come help here at Serenity Oaks Wellness Center. Our holistic therapy and 12-Step aspects combined can show you how to adorn your soul in recovery.

Call us today: 855-652-2683

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