LIVER HEALTH – FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS – DR.JOY VARGHESE ANSWERS

1. I underwent liver transplantation recently, what are the mandatory tests to be performed periodically? And how often?

  • Liver function test
  • Serum Creatinine
  • Serum Electrolytes
  • Tacrolimus assay
In first month Twice a week
In second & third month Once a week
4th month to 12th month Once in 2 months
3rd, 4th & 5th year Once in 6 months
5 years after liver transplantation Once in a year

2. My liver transplant surgery was performed in 2018. Do I require any special tests apart from liver function test?

Once in a year, the following tests are mandatory in all post liver transplant recipients

  • Fasting blood sugar
  • HbA1C
  • Lipid Profile
  • Thyroid Profile
  • ECHO
  • Doppler Study of liver
  • DEXA Scan

3. What are the types of liver transplantation?

Based on availability of organ (liver), there are two types

  • Cadaver organ liver transplantation (Donation after brain dead)
  • Live donor liver transplantation (Donation from living person)

4. What is the success of liver transplantation?

95%

5. I have both liver and kidney failure. Doctors are saying that I require combined liver & kidney transplantation. Is it possible at one surgery?

  • Yes possible
  • If it is cadaver organ transplantation, both organs (liver and kidney) will be from brain dead individual
  • If it is live donor surgery, two donors are required (One for liver & one for kidney)

6. My wife is a hemodialysis patient due to renal failure. She has Hepatitis C virus – Is it curable?

Yes, it is curable

7. While applied for abroad job, I was diagnosed as HBsAg (Hepatitis B virus) positive in medical tests. I don’t have any symptoms and I am very well. Is HBsAg curable?

  • HBsAg test is a basic screening test for Hepatitis B virus. Once HBsAg is positive, it requires detailed evaluation and investigations
  • Most of the patients, HbsAg is successfully controllable. In very few patients, it is curable

8. I have fatty liver and my family members also have fatty liver. Is it required further evaluation?

Yes, it is important

9. When I was in childhood, Wilson disease was diagnosed. Will I require liver transplantation immediately?

Most of the Wilson disease patients doesn’t require liver transplantation. Liver transplantation is required only at advanced liver disease

10. My platelet count was always less than 1 lakh. Is it related to liver disease?

Yes. Low platelet count is common in advanced liver disease

11. I am 21 years old, college student from West Bengal. Recently I had jaundice and was diagnosed as autoimmune hepatitis. What is it? Is it serious disease?

Autoimmune hepatitis is more common in female gender. It is one of the autoimmune disease and lead to cirrhosis (complete liver cell death).

12. When I went for health check-up, my abdomen scan report showed gallbladder stones. Is there any medicine to dissolve the stones?

No. Medicines will not help to dissolve the gallbladder stones.

13. My uncle has been diagnosed as liver cancer. His is 70 years old. He doesn’t have any bad habits. What could be the reason for liver cancer?

Most of the liver cancer patients would have undiagnosed underlying chronic liver diseases such as hepatitis B virus, fatty liver and cirrhosis.

14. I have hepatitis B virus. My wife got vaccination. Will my child get hepatitis B virus?

No. Hepatitis B virus will transmit from mother to child. As your wife is already vaccinated for hepatitis B virus, she is in very safe position (i.e: she will not get infection from you). Moreover, as per our national immunisation policy, all babies will receive 3 doses of hepatitis B vaccination along with other vaccinations within 4 months after birth. So, baby will not get hepatitis B infection lifelong.

15. Few of my relatives have liver problem. Is it genetic disease?

Certain type of liver diseases are genetic related, but it is not common. Example: Wilson’s disease. It requires detailed evaluation. Though hepatitis B virus and fatty liver disease are not genetic diseases, it will affect many members within the same family.

16. If I donate my half of liver to my mother for liver transplantation surgery, when can I go to work?

You can go to job after a month, but not allowed to lift heavy weight, bending forward or going to gym for 3 months.

17. I already stopped to drink alcohol, but still I have jaundice. What is the reason?

Normally, liver cells will regenerate within 3 months once you abstain alcohol ingestion. Even after 3 months alcohol abstinence, if jaundice persists, it indicates sign of liver cell failure.

18. My son had jaundice and it was diagnosed as Gilbert’s syndrome. Treating doctor said that there is no treatment. Is there any treatment available?

Gilberts syndrome is a one of genetic disease which will cause recurrent jaundice but doesn’t require any medication.