Your liver is the second largest organ in your body and has several jobs in order to keep your body running efficiently.
One of the main functions is processing your food (and beverages) into energy.
You absolutely need your liver in order to survive.
A liver transplant is a surgical procedure to remove your diseased liver and replace it with a healthy liver from a donor.
According to the American Liver Foundation, more than 6,000 liver transplants are performed each year in the U.S.
Why would you need a liver transplant?
Most patients who need a liver transplant are those who suffer from chronic liver disease. The second most common reason is if you have liver cancer that cannot be treated with a partial transplant.
There are several clues your body gives off when your liver is shutting down or is in need of a transplant. If your skin turns yellow, you bruise or bleed easily, increased forgetfulness or confusion, throwing up blood, if you are tired or weak, if you're losing weight and if you are passing black stools.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is crucial that you get yourself to an emergency room as soon as possible.
After you've been put on the waiting list and your time has come for a transplant, you will be notified as early as six hours before the procedure. The operation will take roughly 12 hours you will most likely spend six to nine days in the hospital before you can be released.
What else do you need to know about liver transplants?
William C. Chapman, MD, FACS, joins Melanie Cole, MS, to discuss the importance of your liver, the symptoms that indicate you need a liver transplant, the length of the donor waiting list and everything you need to know about having a liver transplant.