Possible complications of liver transplant surgery include
- blood clots in the liver’s blood vessels
- rejection of the new liver by the body’s immune system
- side effects from the immunosuppressive medications liver transplant recipients must take to prevent rejection
In addition, liver diseases can recur in transplanted livers. The transplanted liver can be damaged if, for example, a person who had cirrhosis caused by long-term alcohol abuse resumes drinking after the transplant. Recurrence of certain liver diseases such as hepatitis C can also damage the transplanted liver. Recurrence of hepatitis B in the transplanted liver can now be prevented. Finally, autoimmune diseases, such as autoimmune hepatitis, primary biliary cirrhosis, and primary sclerosing cholangitis, may also recur.
If a person’s transplanted liver fails as a result of rejection or recurrent disease, the doctors on the transplant team must decide whether another transplant is possible.
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