Liver Transplant in Addis Ababa –

A liver transplant is an operation where surgeons remove an unhealthy liver from one person and put in a healthy one from another donor. This is normally the case when the liver is too damaged or is functioning in an abnormal manner. The new liver helps the person feel better and helps them do things that were impossible for them previously.

After the surgery, the person needs to take medicine in order for his body to accept the new liver and to avoid any complications. They should also be conscious about what they eat and drink to make sure that their new liver remains healthy. It’s a large undertaking but it can drastically improve someone’s situation.

When do you need a Liver Transplant?

Typically, a liver transplant is required due to the severe damages that made the liver unable to work anymore. Such conditions can result from liver disease, liver failure, or liver cancer. If those treatments aren’t effective enough, the doctors could consider a liver transplant for the patient to get a healthier life.

Diseases which have the potential to lead to Liver failure-

  • Cirrhosis
  • Hepatitis B
  • Hepatitis C
  • Alcoholic liver disease
  • Autoimmune hepatitis

What other options are there for Liver Transplant?

Paracentesis: In this process the fluid that has been collected in the abdomen (ascites) due to liver failure will be drained. It alleviates pain and decreases the risk of problems including infection and breathing difficulties.

Endoscopic procedures: Endoscopy can be used to manage consequences of liver failure, for example bleeding from varices (called enlarged veins in esophagus or stomach) or put stents in blocked bile ducts.

Liver biopsy: Liver biopsy is performed to evaluate the degree of liver damage and establish the liver failure cause.

Ascitic fluid analysis: In order to determine the origin of ascites and to aid in the treatment process, the removed fluid can be analysed.

Plasmapheresis: Plasmapheresis, a process of replacement of blood plasma, removes the toxins and the waste products that get accumulated in the blood due to liver dysfunction.

Are you eligible for a Liver transplant?

Some of the factors that may make a person ineligible for a liver transplant include:

Severe medical conditions: It is critical to properly evaluate whether such an individual qualifies for surgery considering he or she has other serious diseases, such as advanced heart or lung dysfunction that would make the operation too dangerous.

Active substance abuse: Continuing substance abuse, especially, alcohol and drug abuse, may prevent the patient from being eligible for liver transplant surgery as the primary concern will be on the post- transplant effective adherence to medications and lifestyle changes.

Advanced age: Age may not be a disqualifying factor, but other health problems affecting them may render them unable to receive a transplant.

Uncontrolled infection: Some untreated infections like live hepatitis or systemic infections have to be treated and controlled to progress to a transplant.

Advanced cancer: When the cancer has spread to other organs or if it is poorly controlled, a liver transplant may not be an option.

Severe organ dysfunction: If in case other organs like the kidneys or lungs are too severely damaged and with less hopes of recovering after having a liver transplant, the risks may be more than the advantages.

Risks and complications associated with Liver Transplant-

Rejection: The liver might be perceived by the immune system as an enemy leading to its rejection. Immunosuppressive medications are given to prevent this happening.

Infection: Immunosuppressive drugs undermine the immune system’s functioning, therefore, patients are at increased risk of infections including bacterial, viral, and fungal infections.

Bleeding: The per surgery bleeding risk is high during and even after the operation. This risk is particularly high for those with advanced liver disease who suffer with coagulation disorders.

Clotting disorders: Liver transplant recipients can encounter disturbances in blood clotting, and this may result in either internal bleeding or the formation of blood clots in blood vessels.

Organ dysfunction: Other organs, including the kidneys, lungs, or heart, could be affected by dysfunction as several reasons, including surgical complications, side effects of the immunosuppressant medications, or pre-existing conditions, contribute to this issue.

Fluid accumulation: Transplant may entail accumulation of fluid in the abdomen (ascites) or around the lungs (pleural effusion) post-transplantation and it may need drainage procedure or medication alteration.

Biliary complications: Patients might get bile duct problems like strictures or leaks and need interventions, which are endoscopic or surgical procedures.

Compatibility test for Liver Transplant-

Blood type compatibility: The ideal candidate must have the same type of blood to lower the possibility of unexpected difficulties and rejection.

Size matching: The donor liver should be of similar size as the recipient to achieve a good fit and appropriate functioning after the liver transplant.

Adequate liver function: The donor liver should be healthy and should have no associated conditions that will render it unfit, for example liver disease or cancer.

Absence of infections: Testing on the donors and recipients should be performed to prevent passing of the diseases through the transplantation.

Cross-matching: An antibody testing can be performed to check compatibility and decrease the risk of rejection as it is done by checking blood for antibodies which could react with the donor liver.

Cost of Liver Transplant in Ethiopia compared to other countries –

Cost of Liver Transplant in different countries Average Cost in US Dollars Average Cost in Ethiopian Birr
Ethiopia $60,000 – $70,000 3,600,000 – 4,200,000 ETB
United States $300,000 – $500,000 18,000,000 – 30,000,000 ETB
United Kingdom $200,000 – $400,000 12,000,000 – 24,000,000 ETB
Germany $150,000 – $300,000 9,000,000 – 18,000,000 ETB
Canada $200,000 – $350,000 12,000,000 – 21,000,000 ETB
Australia $250,000 – $400,000 15,000,000 – 24,000,000 ETB
France $180,000 – $350,000 10,800,000 – 21,000,000 ETB
Japan $150,000 – $300,000 9,000,000 – 18,000,000 ETB
Brazil $100,000 – $200,000 6,000,000 – 12,000,000 ETB
India $50,000 – $100,000 3,000,000 – 6,000,000 ETB
China $80,000 – $150,000 4,800,000 – 9,000,000 ETB

Liver Transplant Success rate in Ethiopia –

ALT and AST compatibility testing for Liver Transplant –

The ALT and AST tests are the blood tests which monitor the amount of enzymes provided by the liver directly into the blood circulation system.

ALT and AST are the acronyms of ALT (alanine aminotransferase) and AST (aspartate aminotransferase), which test the functioning of the liver. Severely high ALT and AST levels in blood may be a sign of liver damage, like hepatitis or cirrhosis. These tests are main screenings of pre-transplant liver to examine . liver health of the recipient and to index proper liver function after donated liver.

Types of Liver Transplants –

Deceased Donor Liver Transplant: It is in this type of transplant that the liver be obtained from the deceased donor who has previously consented to donate their organs. When the donor dies, their liver is extracted and transplanted into the recipient who requires a new liver. In the case of deceased donor transplants, it is the organ donation programs that choose which available livers will be assigned to the recipients according to their blood type, body size and urgency.

Living Donor Liver Transplant: In a liver donation by a living donor, a healthy person donates a part of their liver to a recipient in need. The liver from the donor has the astounding skill to regenerate, enabling both the donor and the recipient to later have fully functioning livers. Such transplantation has the advantage of the short waiting time and good chance for the recipient to heal from a healthier donor who is alive rather than dead. Nonetheless, living donor transplants involve surgery for both the donor and recipient and one can not neglect the risks associated with the process.

Average Cost of different types of Liver Transplant in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia –

Type of Liver Transplant in Ethiopia Average Cost in US Dollars Average Cost in Ethiopian Birr
Deceased Donor $50,000 – $70,000 2,500,000 – 3,500,000 ETB
Living Donor $70,000 – $90,000 3,500,000 – 4,500,000 ETB

Cost of Liver Transplant in government hospitals of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia-

Government Hospitals in Addis Ababa Average Cost in US Dollars Average Cost in Ethiopian Birr
St. Paul’s Millennium Hospital $65,000 – $75,000 3,900,000 – 4,500,000 ETB
Black Lion Hospital $60,000 – $70,000 3,600,000 – 4,200,000 ETB

Best Government Hospitals to get your Liver Transplant done in Addis Ababa –

Cost of Liver Transplant in Private Hospitals of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia –

Private Hospitals in Addis Ababa Average Cost in US Dollars Average Cost in Ethiopian Birr
Hallelujah General Hospital $60,000 – $70,000 3,600,000 – 4,200,000 ETB
ICMC General Hospital $55,000 – $65,000 3,300,000 – 3,900,000 ETB
Washington Medical Center $70,000 – $80,000 4,200,000 – 4,800,000 ETB
Bethzatha General Hospital $65,000 – $75,000 3,900,000 – 4,500,000 ETB
Myungsung Christian Medical Centre $50,000 – $60,000 3,000,000 – 3,600,000 ETB

Best Private Hospitals to get your Liver Transplant done in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia –

Recent Advancements in the field of Liver Transplant in Ethiopia-

Increased Access: Initiatives for broadening access to liver transplantation, like collaborations with international transplant centers, or creation of local expertise.

Training Programs: Development of programs for the training of healthcare professionals with a specialization in liver transplant surgery, anesthesia, critical care and post- transplant care.

Technology Adoption: Implementation of modern surgical methods, for instance, laparoscopic or robotic-assisted liver transplant procedures, to do away with excessive surgical trauma and to improve patient outcomes.

Improved Infrastructure: Investments in healthcare infrastructure and facilities for liver transplant surgeries such as dedicated transplant units, intensive care units, and specialised equipment.

Research and Collaboration: Participation in research projects and collaborations with international medical institutions to make discoveries and enhance liver transplantation’s results.

Who will perform Liver Transplant?

Hepatologists are liver experts, they diagnose and treat liver-related diseases. They examine patients in order to determine if a liver transplant is needed based on how severe their liver disease is. Together with transplant surgeons, hepatologists have the responsibility to help patients through the whole transplant process from evaluation to postoperative care.

The other specialty which is also essential in liver transplant is gastroenterologists who specialize in digestive problems. They are involved in complication management of liver disease before and after the transplant, like bleeding in the stomach or fluid retention. Their expertise facilitates timely and effective management of both the liver related and digestive problems during the transplant process.

Best Hepatologists and Gastroenterologists in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia-

Liver Transplant Procedure-

In a liver transplant surgery, the first step is always the meticulous process of removing the damaged liver from the transplant patient. Next, they replace the damaged liver with a liver from a donor in the same place. It is as easy as replacing a defective component in a machine with a new one. The surgery time can be lengthy, and the doctors have to be really cautious.

Once the healthy liver has been transplanted, it immediately begins working to help the body with its functions more effectively. They will most likely be kept for a few days in the hospital to ensure they progress well. Once they get home, they will have to continue to have the medications that are used to help the body adjust to the new liver and ensure that the liver functions properly. It’s a huge step, but it can actually revive someone whose liver is too weak to do its job properly.

Post Liver Transplant Care –

Proper self-care is essential for ensuring that the new liver is functioning effectively after a liver transplant.

Medications: Always adhere to your doctor’s instructions on taking the medication, no matter what. These drugs are used to prevent rejection of the new liver by your body system and also to save it from infections.

Follow-Up Appointments: Attend to all your prescheduled review appointments with your transplant team. They’ll keep track of your progress, do blood level testing, and then make any required medication changes.

Healthy Diet: Have a balanced diet that must be containing fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins. The donor team likely will suggest certain dietary restrictions allowing or something to that extent.

Exercise: Exercise as required by your own doctor. Workout boosts your body strength and gives a good health.

Avoid Alcohol and Smoking: Eliminate alcohol and smoking because they aggravate liver injury and worsen your overall condition.

Infection Prevention: Be preventative, by washing your hands frequently, staying away from sick people, and getting vaccinated to reduce the chances of getting the disease.


1.How frequently do I have to see the transplant team following the operation?

You’ll be required to have follow-up appointments with your transplant team progressively less frequent. These appointments allow your physicians to track your progress, access the liver function, and make any changes to your drugs.

2.Will I be able to eat as I wish after a liver transplant?

Even though you don’t exactly have to adhere to a strict diet after your liver transplant, it’s extremely significant that you consume a nutritious and balanced diet to support both your overall health and the health of your new liver. Your transplant team can suggest a suitable dietary plan tailored to your personal needs.

3.When will I be able to get back to normal activities after a liver transplant?

Returning to usual activities may take longer for some people and differ among individuals as it depends on the overall health, the specific activities and how well you are recovering. The transplant team will give you directions on when you can start work, exercise, and travel

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