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A liver transplant is a surgical procedure that removes a severely diseased liver and replaces it with a healthy liver from an organ donor.
Conditions that can destroy the liver include long-term alcohol use, viral hepatitis, liver cancer, and other diseases.
After receiving a transplant, a person will need to take medicines the rest of his or her life to suppress the immune system and prevent rejection of the new organ.
Not everyone is a candidate for liver transplant. The person must be in good health apart from the liver disease, be free from drugs and alcohol for at least 6 months, and be young enough for the possibility of a long life when healthy. The person must also be free from significant psychological disorders (such as severe depression) and be able to pay for the expensive procedure.
Last Revised: October 29, 2012
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & W. Thomas London, MD - Hepatology
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