Your liver is the largest solid organ found in your body. It sits on the right side of your stomach and is a reddish-brown colour. The liver weighs about 3 pounds and is protected by the rib cage.
The liver has two sections called the left and right lobes. The gallbladder, parts of the pancreas and intestines sit under the liver. They all work together to digest, absorb, and process food.
The main job of the liver is to filtre the blood coming from the digestive tract, before passing it to the rest of the body.
For some people, diseases damage their liver, causing it to stop working properly. This is called liver failure. Liver cancer may also develop as a result of these diseases. Acute or subacute fulminant liver failure occurs when the cause of the failure is unknown.
Common causes of liver failure include:
If you have liver failure:
Liver failure is difficult to diagnose because of a number of conditions Talk to your doctor, he or she may be able to tell if your liver is failing from your diagnostic tests.
One treatment option for liver failure is a liver transplant.
If you choose to have a liver transplant, it will improve your overall energy, quality of life, and it will give your body back its natural functions. The benefit of having a liver transplant is that you may only need to have a portion of a donated liver to meet the needs of your body. After surgery, most of the liver growth happens within 6 weeks. After one year your liver grows to normal size.
All patients with advanced liver disease can be considered for a liver transplant. Even older patients can have a transplant if they are healthy enough to have surgery and take medications needed to allow the liver transplant to work properly.
If you are interested in learning more about a liver transplant, talk to your doctor and ask for a
referral. to see us in the UHN Liver Transplant Program
After you have been referred from your doctor to the UHN Liver Transplant Program, you will go through an
evaluation process to find out if you are eligible for a liver transplant.
If you would like to learn more about the UHN Liver Transplant Program, ask your doctor to fill out the
Physician Referral form.
Liver for transplantation can come from:
The UHN Liver Transplant Program will work with you to find out if your possible donor is a match with you and can donate a portion of their liver to help you.
The amount of time that you may have to wait for a liver transplant will depend on many factors. The team works with you to find out, as quickly as possible, whether you can have a liver transplant.
Once you have been accepted for a transplant, the wait time will depend on:
One organ and tissue donor can save up to 8 lives and improve life for up to 75 others.