If chronic hepatitis C damages your liver so severely that it no longer works well (end-stage liver failure), you may need a liver transplant to extend your life. Liver transplants aren't common.
A Reference liver transplant Opens New Window is the only surgical treatment that can help people with end-stage liver failure.
What to think about
Liver transplantation is a risky, expensive procedure. And donor organs are hard to get. Most of the time, only people who are in good health (other than having liver disease) are considered for a transplant. You will not be considered if you are drinking alcohol, using illegal drugs, or have certain mental health problems.
After a liver transplant, you will need lifelong follow-up care by a specialist. You also will need to take immunosuppressant medicine to keep your body from rejecting the new liver. This medicine may cause other problems.
Hepatitis C almost always infects the newly transplanted liver. Recurring liver disease after a transplant can be a serious problem and may cause the new organ to fail. But most patients do very well after a liver transplant and are able to live normal lives.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference July 6, 2011|
|Medical Review:||Reference E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Reference W. Thomas London, MD - Hepatology