Transplants are Never Simple: Collaboration Key to Beating Odds
We take care of the whole patient, not just the liver. Life is not static and everything affects everything else.
Understanding Your Liver
The liver is the largest solid organ in the body. It filters toxins from the blood, processes fats, makes proteins, stores some vitamins and minerals, and metabolizes medications. When it fails, many body systems also falter.
Taking Care of Your Liver
• Avoid toxic substances, including industrial chemicals, and excessive alcohol consumption
• Maintain a healthy weight. Don't eat a high proportion of fatty foods.
• Get vaccinated against Hepatitis A and B.
Common Causes of Liver Failure
• Cirrhosis, which transforms normal liver tissue into scar tissue.
• Hepatitis A, B, and C vary greatly in behavior, but all can damage the liver.
• Autoimmune system disorders
When to See Your Doctor
• Skin develops a yellow tinge
• Unexplained fatigue
• Swelling of legs
• Easy bruising
• Not everyone who develops a liver disease needs a transplant. Many people are able to manage their disease for years as a chronic illness. When that is no longer possible, then transplant is considered. First, a prospective patient will go through an extensive evaluation to qualify to be on the waiting list. The United Network of Organ Sharing, under a federal contract, maintains that list. The list is ordered by medical need.
For more information, visit stanfordhospital.org/livertransplant or call 650-498-7878.
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