By Dr. Nitin Jain, Surgical Gastroenterology
The liver is one of the most important organs of our body. Therefore, its impairment might prove fatal, if complications arising out of a liver disorder are not timely treated. Liver failure can be the result of various disorders like hepatitis, cirrhosis of the liver, indiscriminate consumption of alcohol, or nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. Other complications that can result in liver failure include accumulation of copper or iron in the liver. There are some signs and symbols which will indicate that you are undergoing liver failure. If you see these signs in yourself, you might require a liver transplant surgery.
Liver transplant is a method of treatment whereby the diseased liver of a person is replaced by a healthy liver. In most cases, the donors are those who are already deceased but wanted to donate their vital organs to post their demise. In some cases, a person who is living can offer to be the donor, but such cases are rare.
Here are some signs that might tell you that you need a liver transplant soon:
- Jaundice: The most common tell-tale sign of jaundice is yellowing of the eyes and the skin. When your liver gets damaged, the level of bilirubin in your body rises. Bilirubin is that component which is produced when the hemoglobin is broken down. It is then processed by the liver, to be later eliminated through urination and defecation. So, when the liver does not function properly, the process which involves the binding of the bilirubin with the bile does not take place and the amount rises. When this happens, the excess bilirubin is deposited in the skin, causing the yellowing of eyes and the skin, which leads to the development of the second symptom.
- Yellow Urine: You should always observe the color of your urine. If you notice that your urine has become yellow of late, you must consult your doctor, as this could be a sign of liver disorder. The surplus bilirubin sometimes gets deposited in the urine causing it to become dark yellow.
- Accumulation of fluid in the abdomen (Ascites): Ascites develops in association with liver disease, commonly cirrhosis. Common signs of ascites include bloating, discomfort felt around the abdomen, shortness of breath, increase of the circumference of the abdomen. If you observe these signs lately, you must get yourself checked.
Other symptoms that might point to the fact that you need a liver transplant are fatigue, sudden weight loss, nausea. If you notice these in yourself, see a doctor before it is too late.