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Doctor insights on: Should Alcoholics Receive Liver Transplants

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How do I help a friend who has had 2 liver transplants and is a chronic alcoholic?

How do I help a friend who has had 2 liver transplants and is a chronic alcoholic?

Needs therapy, AA: You can only help your friend if he or she is willing to get help.Help can come from alcoholics anonymous or from a doctor providing therapy. ...Read more

Dr. James Krick
3 doctors shared insights

Transplant (Definition)

In medicine: a transfer from one body or body part to another of an organ (liver, heart, lung, kidney, pancreas bowel) or tissue (hand, face, hair). The immune system fights foreign invaders (like infections) so it will reject transplants from other people (allotransplants) because they look like infections. So transplants usually require drugs to ...Read more


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Could you think alcoholics should be allowed to have liver or heart transplants?

Could you think alcoholics should be allowed to have liver or heart transplants?

Transplants: This is in the realm of what's called medical ethics; "what should we do?" that said this is probably one of the most honorable and ethical systems in place . As far as i know . People get the organs that they deserve given their place on the list. This is to my knowledge, there have been exceptions such as mickey mantle who got a liver transplant and that was very controversial. ...Read more

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Why arent all alcoholics usually disqualified for a liver transplant?

Why arent all alcoholics usually disqualified for a liver transplant?

Ethics: Active alcoholics are excluded for transplant. Each center has individual time demands and ways to confirm sobriety but 6 months sober documentation of a treatment program is pretty standard. Excluding them from treatment would be wrong just as wrong as excluding anyone who's actions brought their illness on. ...Read more

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I'm wondering why are alcoholics usually disqualified for a liver transplant?

Depends on disease: Actually, 20% of all liver transplant recipients have alcoholism as the primary cause of their liver failure. We treat alcoholism as any other disease. If the person can control their drinking, then they can be a candidate. At most centers, this requires at least 6 months of complete abstinence and completion of intensive outpatient substance abuse therapy. Patients then screened for alcohol use. ...Read more

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Can I get a liver transplant if i'm an alcoholic?

Yes: Many recovered or recovering alcoholics do every year. Discuss the best approach with your local hepatologist and transplant center. ...Read more

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Are there any other treatments for alcoholic liver failure other than a transplant?

Yes: In severe alcoholic hepatitis, steroids (usually methyprednisolone or medrol) may help reverse some of the inflammation and allow the liver to heal. First and foremost, there must be absolutely no alcohol ever! other treatments, like beta blockers to prevent bleeding, vitamins (esp. Thiamine, Folic Acid and other b vitamins), good nutrition is essential. Other symptoms can be treated as well. ...Read more

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Will an alcoholic who has been through rehab and quit drinking still be eligible for a liver transplant?

Will an alcoholic who has been through rehab and quit drinking still be eligible for a liver transplant?

Yes: Most transplant programs require 6 months of abstinance from alcohol before placing a patient on the waiting list. Successful completion of a rehab program also puts the patient in a stronger position. ...Read more

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Are animal livers used in human transplants?

Are animal livers used in human transplants?

Not successfully: Animal organs have been used - in experimental circumstances - for a variety of human transplants, without long-term success. Remaining obstacles of rejection are major. When a winning strategy is developed, you will know because we will suddenly be able to address the organ shortage. We can use animal heart valves (usually pig) because they are treated + no longer stimulate an immune response. ...Read more

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I'm wondering how successful are liver transplants?

Can be life-saving.: Liver transplants, like most organ transplants, are much more successful these days than they have been in the past. Liver transplantation is only recommended for life-threatening diseases of the liver, so if recommended, should certainly be considered. It is difficult to give a percentage, because it varies depending on the reason for the transplant in the first place. Good luck. ...Read more

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When might a liver need a transplant?

When might a liver need a transplant?

Does not function : When the liver permanently ceases to function. Can result from congenital diseases, infections, bile duct diseases, tumors, etc. The liver is needed to remove drugs and other waste products, makes bile, proteins, and is responsible for the clotting factors. A blocked liver can cause fluid retention (ascites) and result in jaundice (yellow skin) and/or encephalopathy. ...Read more

Dr. Payam Mehranpour
2 doctors shared insights

Liver (Definition)

This organ plays a major role in metabolism and has a number of functions in the body, including glycogen storage, decomposition of red blood cells, plasma protein synthesis, hormone production, and detoxification. It lies below the diaphragm in the abdominal-pelvic region of the abdomen. It produces bile, an alkaline compound which aids in digestion via the emulsification of ...Read more