Liver Transplant in India

Liver Transplant in India: A Comprehensive Guide for International Patients

Liver transplantation is a complex but life-saving procedure for patients with end-stage liver disease or acute liver failure. Over the years, India has emerged as a global hub for liver transplants due to its advanced medical facilities, skilled professionals, and cost-effective treatments. 

Understanding Liver Transplant

A liver transplant involves replacing a diseased liver with a healthy liver from a donor. This surgery is typically considered when the liver can no longer function adequately on its own.

Key Points for Prospective Transplant Patients

  • Eligibility: Candidates for liver transplants usually have chronic liver diseases such as cirrhosis, hepatitis B or C, or liver cancer. Eligibility is determined through a thorough evaluation process including blood tests, imaging studies, and psychological assessment.

  • Pre-Transplant Evaluation: This involves a series of tests to assess the severity of liver disease, overall health status, and the presence of other medical conditions that may affect the surgery’s outcome.

  • Living vs. Deceased Donor: In India, liver transplants can be performed using either living donors (usually a close family member) or deceased donors. Living donor transplants are more common due to the shortage of deceased donor organs. It is almost impossible to get decased donor for international patients, unfortunately. 

  • Post-Transplant Care: After the transplant, the patient needs to follow a strict regimen of medications to prevent rejection and regular follow-ups to monitor liver function and overall health.

Key Points for Donors

  • Eligibility and Testing: Living donors must be in excellent health and typically between the ages of 18 and 55. They undergo comprehensive medical and psychological evaluations to ensure suitability for donation.

  • Risks and Recovery: Donating a part of the liver is generally safe, but like any major surgery, it carries risks. Donors usually recover fully within 6 to 8 weeks, with the liver regenerating to its normal size within a few months.

  • Legal and Ethical Considerations: In India, organ donation is strictly regulated to prevent exploitation and ensure ethical practices. Donors and recipients must comply with legal requirements, including thorough documentation and ethical approval from an authorized committee.

    It is recommended that donor be a first degree relation or a near relative (spouse). Second degree relations may be considered if there is no suitable first degree donor available. Beyond these relationships, donors are not allowed. To know more on this read: First Degree, Second Degree & Near Relative in Organ Transplant

Family Considerations

  • Support System: The family plays a crucial role in the transplant journey, from providing emotional support to assisting with post-surgery care. Understanding the entire process can help manage expectations and reduce anxiety.

  • Financial Planning: It is essential to plan for the costs associated with the transplant, including surgery, hospitalization, medications, and follow-up care.

The Liver Transplant Team

Liver Transplant is a complex procedure and is done by a team of doctors, surgeons and support staff, led by the Transplant Head. Here are the specialists who will be in your Transplant team:

  • Hepatologist: A specialist in liver diseases who evaluates the patient’s condition and manages pre- and post-transplant care.
  • Transplant Surgeon: A specialist who performs the liver transplant surgery.
  • Anesthesiologist: A doctor who administers anesthesia and monitors the patient during surgery.
  • Intensive Care Specialist: A doctor who manages the patient’s care immediately after surgery in the intensive care unit (ICU).
  • Other Specialists: Including infectious disease experts, dietitians, and psychologists who contribute to the comprehensive care of the patient.

Cost of Liver Transplant in India

The cost of a liver transplant in India ranges from $25,000 to $35,000, significantly lower than in Western countries where the cost can exceed $500,000. Several factors contribute to the lower costs in India:

  1. Lower Operational Costs: Lower costs of living and operational expenses in India contribute to the reduced overall cost of medical procedures.
  2. Government Support: Policies and incentives provided by the Indian government to promote medical tourism help in keeping costs down.
  3. Skilled Workforce: India boasts a large pool of highly skilled medical professionals who offer world-class treatment at competitive prices.

Top 10 Liver Transplant Hospitals in India

Here are the most reputed Hospitals in India with excellent expertise in doing Liver Transplant Procedures.

Hospital Highlights:

  • One of India’s best and largest multi-specialty hospitals, Medanta was built with the aim to bring India to the highest standards of medical care. The hospital has been providing the best medical services to its patients, since its inception, with care, commitment, and compassion.
  • Equipped with 1250 beds, the hospital was founded by Dr. Naresh Trehan in the year 2009 with an aim to provide the best medical care at affordable costs. The hospital is spread across 43 acres and includes 45 operation theatres and 350 beds dedicated solely to ICU. The hospital includes over 800 doctors, and more than 22 specialty departments and has a dedicated floor for individual specialty in order to offer the best services under one roof.
  • The hospital is considered one of the premier institutes in India for Cardiac Care and includes staffs and members of high caliber. The hospital has 6 distinct centers of excellence.

Hospital Highlights:

  • One of the most well-known hospitals in the Delhi NCR, Artemis Hospital is the first hospital in Gurugram to get accredited by the Joint Commission International.
  • With more than 40 specialties, the hospital has been designed to be one of the most technically advanced hospitals in the country, with the best medical and surgical health care. The hospital has eleven special and dedicated centers, for Heart, Cancer, Neurosciences, etc.
  • The latest technologies in the hospital include Endovascular Hybrid Operating Suite and Flat panel Cath Labs for the cardiovascular department, 3 Tesla MRI, 16 slice PET CT, 64 Slice Cardiac CT Scan, HDR Brachy Treatment, and highly advanced Image Guided Radiation Treatment techniques (LINAC) are installed in the hospital.
  • The hospital has won several awards as well, since its inception.

Hospital Highlights:

  • The Apollo Proton Cancer Centre in Chennai is the most sought-after private cancer hospital in India. It is an integrated facility that provides cutting-edge, all inclusive cancer treatment to patients all over the globe.
  • The hospital is a part of the renowned Apollo Group which has a large network of over 74 hospitals in India and across the globe. Out of the 74 hospitals, 21 of them are cancer centres. However, Apollo Proton Cancer Centre is the only cancer hospital to have JCI accreditation.
  • The Centre, which was established on the principles of excellence and expertise, unites a formidable medical staff led by some of the most illustrious figures in cancer treatment.
  • The hospital follows the global ASTRO Model Policy. It is the same global policy which is followed by countries like USA, UK, and Europe.
  • Apollo Proton Cancer Centre is among the very few hospitals in India to receive patients from First World countries such as USA, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, Thailand, etc.
  • Apart from that, it is also the first hospital in Chennai to receive patients from several countries like Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, SAARC countries (Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Maldives, Bhutan, Afghanistan, and Pakistan), South Africa, Turkey, Egypt, etc.
  • In fact, there is a dedicated team at the Apollo Proton Cancer Centre that serves only international patients. Thus, on a monthly basis, the Centre receives patients from across 32 countries.
  • Moreover, there are certain treatments in Apollo Proton Cancer Centre that are not available in any other centre. APCC addresses all types of possible cancers that are usually not covered by any other centre.

Hospital Highlights:

  • Over the last 33 years, the Fortis Escorts Heart Institute has set new standards in cardiac treatment with groundbreaking research. It is now known around the world as a centre of expertise for Cardiac Bypass Surgery, Interventional Cardiology, Non-invasive Cardiology, Paediatric Cardiology, and Paediatric Cardiac Surgery.
  • The hospital has cutting-edge laboratories that perform a wide range of diagnostic tests in Nuclear Medicine, Radiology, Biochemistry, Haematology, Transfusion Medicine, and Microbiology.
  • Fortis Escorts Heart Institute boasts a diverse group of bright and experienced doctors who are backed up by a team of highly qualified, experienced, and devoted support professionals as well as cutting-edge equipment such as the recently installed Dual CT Scan.
  • Approximately 200 cardiac doctors and 1600 personnel currently collaborate to manage over 14,500 admissions and 7,200 emergency situations each year. The hospital now has a 310-bed infrastructure, as well as five cath labs and a slew of other world-class amenities.

Hospital Highlights:

  • Fortis Memorial Research Institute is a multi-super-specialty, quaternary care hospital with 1000 beds. The hospital comprises reputed clinicians, and international faculty and is also equipped with cutting-edge technology. The hospital is a part of Fortis Healthcare Limited, a reputed chain of private hospitals in India.
  • It is a NABH-accredited hospital that is spread across 11 acres of land and has a capacity of 1000 beds. The hospital has 55 specialties and is one of the premier health care centers in the Asia Pacific region popularly known as “the Mecca of Healthcare”.
  • The hospital has 260 diagnostic centers and is also equipped with the latest and advanced techniques that include 3 Telsa which is the world’s first Digital MRI technology. The hospital also has world-class Radiation Treatment techniques which have been developed by leading technology experts from Elekta and Brain Lab.

Hospital Highlights:

  • The Indian Spinal Injuries Center (ISIC), provides state-of-the-art facilities for the management of all types of spinal ailments.
  • Staffed with internationally trained, acclaimed, and dedicated spine surgeons, the hospital provides cutting-edge medical & surgical technology. The hospital provides comprehensive management of spinal injury, back pain, spinal deformities, tumors, osteoporosis, etc.
  • The hospital performs motion-preserving spine surgeries including disc replacement and dynamic fixation, and minimally invasive spine surgeries such as endoscopic disc excision.
  • The orthopedic service of the hospital covers all orthopedic ailments including trauma, joint diseases & replacements, oncology, pediatric orthopedics & upper limb ailment.

Hospital Highlights:

In the sprawling city of Faridabad, where healthcare needs are diverse and ever-evolving, one institution has consistently stood out as a beacon of excellence in the field of medicine—Marengo Asia Hospital. Established with a vision to provide world-class healthcare services to the community it serves, Marengo Asia Hospital has emerged as a trusted name synonymous with quality, compassion, and innovation in healthcare.

Hospital Highlights:

  • Indraprastha Apollo Hospital is a 700-bedded multispecialty hospital in the heart of the capital of India. It is a part of Apollo Hospital group, one of India’s most reputed healthcare chains. Indraprastha Apollo Hospital has been accredited by Joint Commission International, making it the first internationally accredited hospital in the country in 2005.
  • There are 52 specialties in the hospital with one of the best cardiology centers in the country. The hospital is also equipped with State of the art infrastructure facilities with the largest Sleep Lab in Asia and the largest number of ICU bed facilities in India.
  • The latest and highly advanced technologies that are installed in the hospital include Da Vinci Robotic Surgery System, PET-MR, PET-CT, Cobalt-based HDR, Brain Lab Navigation System, Tilting MRI, Portable CT scanner, 3 Tesla MRI, 128 Slice CT scanner, DSA Lab, Endosonography, Hyperbaric Chamber and Fibro scan.

Hospital Highlights:

  • One of the well-regarded providers in India committed to the highest standards of clinical excellence and patient care, Max Super Specialty Hospital is a part of Max Healthcare, which is the second-largest healthcare chain in India. Regarded as one of the most well-regarded healthcare providers in the country, Max Super Specialty Hospital is committed to the highest standards of clinical excellence as well as patient care. The hospital is also equipped with the latest technology as well as cutting-edge research. The hospital is known to deliver and ensure the highest level of patient care.
  • The hospital has more than 500 beds and offers treatment for over 35 specialties. The hospital also holds the credit of having installed the first Brain Suite in Asia. This is a highly advanced Neurosurgical machine that allows MRI to be taken while surgery is ongoing.
  • Other advanced and latest technologies are also installed in the hospital such as the 1.5 Tesla MRI machine, 64 Slice CT Angiography, 4D ECHO, LINAC, and 3.5T MRI machine.

Hospital Highlights:

  • Founded in 2017, the HCG EKO Cancer Centre is a committed, all-inclusive cancer care facility in Kolkata.
  • The hospital was collaboratively established by India’s leading cancer care provider HCG (HealthCare Global Enterprises Ltd.), and EKO Diagnostic Pvt. Ltd., a top diagnostic and imaging chain in Eastern India.
  • With 88 beds, the hospital provides a full spectrum of services including diagnosis, prevention, screening, second opinions, treatment, rehabilitation, follow-up, and palliative care.
  • Additionally, the hospital contains a day-care chemotherapy ward, Neutropenic ward, medical ICU, pharmacy, blood bank, and an IPD wing.
  • At HCG EKO Cancer Centre Kolkata, a large team of cancer experts with experience in medical oncology, surgical oncology, radiation oncology, hemato oncology, BMT, and nuclear medicine collaborate to offer a variety of treatment options under one roof.
  • Furthermore, the hospital is also known for employing the most advanced radiation technology such as, the Radixact, a next-generation TomoTherapy equipment that provides greater radiation delivery precision.

Hospital Highlights:

  • Equipped with 650 beds, BLK-Max Super Speciality Hospital is the largest stand-alone private sector hospital in Delhi.
  • With over 1500 healthcare providers and 150 globally renowned super specialists, the hospital is one of Asia’s largest BMT Centres. The hospital is known for having some of the best cancer doctors in the country.
  • The hospital is NABH and NABL accredited and was inaugurated by the first Prime Minister of India. Pt. Jawahar Lal Nehru.

Top 10 Liver Transplant Surgeons in India

Here are the most reputed Liver Transplant Surgeons in India with excellent expertise in doing complex Liver Transplant procedures.

Profile Highlights:

  • Dr. Subhash Gupta is one of the finest Gastrointestinal and Liver Transplant Surgeons in the country. He has garnered an outstanding reputation in the field of Biliary, pancreas, and liver transplantation.
  • He has conducted over 300 Living Donor Liver Transplants in the year 2013 each lasting 10-16 hours long.
  • Dr. Subhash Gupta is also known to pioneer the development of Living Donor Transplant or LDLT.

Profile Highlights:

  • Known to be a pioneer in the field of liver transplantation, Dr. Arvinder Singh Soin leads one of the world’s most successful liver transplant programs at Medanta. Currently, he is the Chairman of the Institute of Liver Transplantation and Regenerative Medicine, at Medanata- The Medicity, Gurgaon, India.
  • Quite renowned for having a 95 percent success rate, and having performed over 2500 liver transplants throughout his career, Dr. Arvinder Singh Soin was awarded the Padma Shri by the President of India, for his contributions to the field of Medicine.

Profile Highlights:

  • Dr. (Prof.) Mohamed Rela is known as one of the best liver transplant surgeons in the world. His name has also entered the Guinness Book of Records for performing liver transplantation of a 5-day-old baby.
  • With more than 30 years of experience, Dr. Rela is known as a pioneer in liver transplantation & hepatopancreatobiliary (HPB) surgery.
  • Dr. Mohamed Rela is the Chairman and Director of Dr. Rela Institute and Medical Centre, Chennai, India; and the Professor of Liver Surgery and Transplantation, at King’s College, Hospital in London as well.
  • During his career of almost 30 years, Dr. Rela has performed over 4500 liver transplantations worldwide.

Profile Highlights:

  • Dr. Vivek Vij is considered one of the most reputed liver transplant surgeons who has over 17 years of proficient experience and has performed multiple exemplary medical procedures involving advanced surgical skills that cover the entire gamut of gastroenterological surgeries.
  • Dr. Vivek Vij’s expertise lies in Adult & Paediatric Liver Transplant, Complex Liver Surgery, Advanced Pancreato-biliary Surgeries, Advanced Laparoscopic and Robotic Surgeries, Basic Science Research, and Regenerative Medicine. His outstanding expertise in liver transplant procedures has earned him many accolades and prestige.

Profile Highlights:

  • Dr. Shailendra Lalwani is a renowned gastroenterologist at Manipal Hospitals, Dwarka, New Delhi, who has over 19 years of experience as a specialist. His expertise lies in Liver Transplantation and Hepato-pancreatic biliary surgery.
  • For his outstanding contributions to the field of gastroenterology, Dr. Shailendra Lalwani has been honored with several awards and recognition. He is also an active member of the Delhi Medical Council.

Profile Highlights:

  • Dr. Neerav Goyal is one of the best Liver transplant surgeons in India. He is the Head of the Apollo Liver Transplant, Hepatobiliary, and Pancreatic Surgery unit in New Delhi.
  • Dr. Neerav Goyal is providing the best care to patients with Hepatectomy/ liver transplant in case of liver cancer or liver cirrhosis, surgeries for pancreatic cancer, etc.
  • He is a Gold Medalist practitioner who performs complex surgeries with success.
  • Dr. Goyal has performed over 2100 liver transplants in his 18 years of experience. This also includes 500+ cadaver liver transplants and 220 pediatric liver transplants.

Profile Highlights:

  • Dr. Giriraj Singh Bora is a liver transplant surgeon, who is known for being the founding member of the Liver Transplant Society of India.
  • He is the first doctor to perform a liver transplantation in Rajasthan. He is also known for carrying out the first deceased donor and the first living donor liver transplants in Rajasthan and has also been instrumental in starting a liver transplant program in the region.

Profile Highlights:

  • Dr. Sanjay Govil is an accomplished HBP & Transplant Surgeon. He completed FRCS from the Royal College of Surgeons in England.
  • He has achieved a few major accomplishments throughout his life as well, which include the First Liver Resection in Karnataka, in 2007, First Laparoscopic Liver Resection in a Cirrhotic Liver in Karnataka in the year 2008, First Laparoscopic Pancreatic duodenectomy in Karnataka in 2008, First ALPPS procedure in India in 2012 and several more.
  • He trained in liver surgery and transplantation at Kings College Hospital in London, Queen Mary’s Hospital in Hong Kong, and the Graduate School of Medicine in Tokyo.

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