Liver Transplant: What It is, Types & Why It Needs?

By Medical Expert Team

Apr 24 , 2023 | 3 min read

The liver is one of the most important organs of the body, and its proper functioning is crucial for your wellbeing.

This small organ which merely weighs 3 pounds performs multiple complex functions at a single time. It is located below the diaphragm on the right side of the abdomen.

6 Functions Performed by Your Liver:

  1. Make the proteins required by the body
  2. Prevent shortage of nutrients by storing certain vitamins, minerals and sugar
  3. Formation of bile juice
  4. Metabolizes, or breaks down, nutrients from food to make energy, when needed
  5. Helps the body fight infection by removing bacteria from the blood
  6. Remove potentially toxic by-products of certain medications


Liver transplant is considered to be a wise option in case your liver stops functioning properly. During a liver failure or end-stage liver disease, best doctors often recommend for a liver transplant. So when defining the same, it is a surgical procedure that removes a liver that no longer functions properly and replaces it with a healthy liver from a living or deceased donor. Nanavati Max Hospital is listed among the best hospitals in India which treat a wide spectrum of live diseases from liver failure to liver cirrhosis and have a specialised team of doctors who execute the liver transplant procedure.

Why The Need for a Liver Transplant?

When a patient’s liver no longer responds to medical treatment and various other therapies then a liver transplant is considered to be a last resort. The transplant option becomes a compulsion for people who are suffering from liver cancer and liver failure. Another major reason is liver cirrhosis in which healthy liver tissues are replaced with the scarred tissue.

Liver transplant is not for all, before taking the decision all the pros and cons are measured properly. There are obvious possibilities that the patients whose condition demanded liver transplant may not be the right candidate because he/she is suffering from other chronic ailments that could hinder the transplant success.

Types of Liver Transplants

3 types of liver transplant that can be offered to a person:

  1. Orthotopic transplant
  2. A living donor transplant
  3. A split type of liver transplant


Orthotopic Transplant

This is one of the most common types of liver transplant. In this, the liver is taken from a deceased donor who has wilfully pledged to donate his/ her organ to the recipient. The only criteria for selection is that the donor should not have any transmissible illness.

A Living Donor Transplant

This type of transplant deals with a living donor who is willing to donate the liver. First, the donor is operated to remove either the left or right side (lobe) of his/her liver. The recipient or the patient is then opened up and the diseased liver is removed. This is followed by insertion of the part of the liver taken from the donor to the recipient. Best hepatologists often recommend a right lobe transplant for adults and left lobes for children. Post-procedure the transplanted lobe will quickly regenerate in fact, for the donor the removed portion of the liver grows back.

A Split Type of Liver Transplant

This type of liver transplant involves two recipients and one donor in which the latter is the recentlydeceased individual who donates the liver to two people. This transplant procedure is only possible when one of the recipients is a child and the other is an adult. So, in the adult recipient generally the right lobe is inserted, and the child recipient receives the left lobe.

Whether it is liver failure or cirrhosis, these conditions are really serious and should not be taken lightly. One should immediately get treated in the best hospital for liver Transplant in India. In fact, the top hospitals offer a specialised centre for treating liver diseases which is managed by an expert team of doctors.

Medically Reviewed

Dr. Anurag Shrimal (Director - Transplant Surgery Center for Liver, Pancreas & Intestine Transplantation)

Dr. Anurag Shrimal is the Director - Transplant Surgery Center for Liver, Pancreas & Intestine Transplantation at Nanavati Max Super Speciality Hospital. With an experience spanning across 22 years, he is credited with performing Worlds First Composite Vascularised Liver and Posterior Rectus Sheath Transplant in an Adult, and Western India's Smallest Paediatric Liver Transplant, First Paediatric ABOi Liver Transplant and First Paediatric & Adult Swap Liver Transplant. 

Written and Verified by:

Medical Expert Team