Yellowness for more than 2 months, swelling and strain in abdomen, tiredness and tendency to sleep, itchiness, retarded development… All these symptoms may be the messengers of liver failure which is seen during childhood period. Liver transplants which are the most important treatments of the disease are successfully executed on infants and children as well. Reaching a healthy life with transplant, children also reach a healthy future. Prof. Dr. K. Yalçın Polat, who is The Department Chair of Memorial Bahçelievler Hospital Organ Transplantation Centre, gave some information about childhood liver failure.
Names of 500 children are put on the waiting list every year
Early diagnosis has a tremendous importance regarding the treatment of liver diseases. According to the figures, children constitute 10 per cent of the liver transplants and only 150 children may have transplantation while names of 500 children are put on the waiting list every year. Leading the line among the countries with most frequent liver transplantations, Turkey shares the rank with Britain.
The most effective treatment method of liver failure is organ transplantation
Failure in liver and cirrhosis occur as a result of innately absent biliary tract. Therefore, it should be controlled whether children have innate liver and biliary tract failure, this necessitates very simple examinations. Metabolic diseases also cause the formation of liver failure. This most frequently occurs because of consanguineous marriages. Sometimes tumour may develop in the diseased livers, which necessitate liver transplant.
It is vital to race against time
Apart from the innate reasons, liver failure may be also seen in later stages of life. Usage of some medications may cause acute failure in a healthy liver. Acute liver failure creates an emergency and needs to be closely monitored. If liver transplant cannot be made in time, life may be lost; this should be a race against the clock.
Children who have transplantation recover faster
Children with liver failure may not keep a balanced diet and gain weight. At this point, it is quite important to have transplantation before retarded development and permanent problems occur. Children respond treatment and recover more quickly in comparison with adults. With liver failure, both the social and physical development of children are blocked. After the transplantation, they recover quickly, start to gain weight, participate in social life as a healthy individual, continue their education with ease, don’t fall behind their peers physically and grow in a healthy way.
Decent care is needed after operation
Liver transplant in children necessitates a sensitive surgical process and decent monitoring after the operation. Children should undergo the surgery in well-equipped hospitals and under very good care conditions. Problems in biliary ducts and surgical complications may occur within a year after the operation. These can be treated easily with advanced radiological methods or surgical operations. Sometimes “chronic rejection” may also be experienced, mostly because of irregularly taken medications or poor quality of care after the operation. If a decent care is not provided, children may lose their organs and this necessitates another transplantation.
Prepared by the Medical Editorial Board. Our health library contents have been prepared for informational purposes only and with the scientific content on the registration date. For all your questions, concerns, diagnosis or treatment about your health, please consult your doctor or health institution.