Hi, everyone!



I'm almost 2 years post my transplant and recently I came across the question about the life expectancy asked on the internet and I actually became curious about the answer..cause let's face it, if someone can tell me how long do I have left to live I would like to know 

Is anyone of you familiar with the topic? Has anyone heard of any survival rates for the people with liver transplants?

I know it depends on lots of thing such as: is it a young or an adult recipient, is the transplant due to a disease or a toxic failiure and so on..

I've read lots of answers and 30 years is the best option i read about.. So if any of you know something about the life expectancy rates please do share, I would very much appreciate it!

Regards to all,
Velina 

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Replies to This Discussion

My husband had 23 years with his first transplant, and just over a year ago had a second one.  I've heard that as long as you take care of yourself there is no reason to think that you would live a shorter life just because you've had a TP.  You could live to over 100 years old.  :-)

Hi Velina,

While liver transplants took place in the '60's, those early recipients did not have the advantage of as well done perfusions and ischemic storage in superior preserving fluids and the anti-rejection meds were not what they are today. It wasn't until probably the mid '70's that liver transplant recipients began doing better on a more regular basis as the body of knowledge was still growing. So, if you've come across a number that someone published saying expect 30 years from a liver transplant these days, that number will be based on 30 year old technology and continuously better care. It may be even better going forward for you as yours is a more modern transplant that those of 30 years ago.

My advice is don't worry about the quantity of years; instead focus on your quality of life and living the best life for you that you can.  I don't give the life of my liver a thought. I focus on my life and doing with it the best I can. My transplant is in no way a handicap, but rather a simple fact of life.

Each year, I meet with my transplant surgeon. On that day, he asks how I'm doing. I say fine and my plan is to live forever. He asks "how's that working out for you?" and I say: "So far, so good." This June, when we meet again, it will be our 12th such conversation. I believe that the secret to longevity, more than anything else, is attitude and I focus on the advice of my 98 year old grandfather, when I asked him his secret. He said: "Laugh each day for 100 years. Do that, and you'll have a shot at old age."

I'm an outlier. I was transplanted nine years ago by Dr Busitil & Co at UCLA.  On my way into the OR they explained that my donor was a 25-yo blonde (perhaps an attempt at humor)  but she had been on life support for a while  and I could opt to wait for a better match.

This struck me as a weak attempt at humor.  I had waited two years for Medicare to fund my procedure. (This is Medicare's "Trial by Fire," if you are STILL alive after two years we'll fund you.)  At the end of the two yr waiting period UCLA noted that, "son of a gun," I had developed liver cancer in the interim.  (The brickbats of bad news never seem to cease.) They shrunk the cancer and by the skin of my teeth  fate was finally going to give me another chance to live.  I wasn't about  to wait.  

I am eternally grateful to the parents of my donor for allowing me to have their daughter's liver.  It was a vote of faith in humanity, a mitzvah, to do that. We know of each other, I know they were on the Rose parade float several years ago.  I have never had a rejection episode, my donor was so closely matched she could have been a relative:  I consider myself fully recovered.  For the first four years I assiduously followed posts in this and other fora. 

After the four years of untroubled life and stable Ast/Alt levels, my life began to be focused on the future rather than survival.  Today, my mental faculties have returned (such as they are), I'm back in school taking all those courses I had wanted to take but never had time.  I write, read, have a motorcycle, and the memory of my transplant has faded into that hazy past occupied by first love, military service, and having children: still there but a faded picture in the album of life.

I was 58 at transplant, disabled for five years before that.  Now I'm pushing 68, 155lbs, feeling like 45 and believe I may live a long as my mother who died at 91.  Who knows? Further, who cares?  We are here, must be here, must be now.  Worrying about longevity is a limiting illusion:  it means one is always anticipating the end instead of living in the now. 

I (and my now 35-yo young lady's liver) have been together a long time now and will continue into  the foreseeable future.  Carlos (quetzal1@earthlink.net)

I had my liver transplant when I was 55 years old.  I am now 70 so I have had my donor liver for 15 years.  Every year around my " second birthday" I think of the family that gave me the gift of life.  He was a 41 year old baptist preacher.  It was a joy to meet his family.  He married his high school sweetheart and had 2 kids, 21 year old girl and 18 year old son.

I don't think it is about how long we live, it is about how we live.  I as so happy that I was able to see my sons grow to manhood and for me to become a grandfather.  Sweetest words on earth " I love you grandpa". 

May you have a great life, full of joy and love.

You Are So Right! I have 5 Granddaughters, 3 of them are almost 4.

 I melt when I here them say, I LOVE YOU GRANPA! 

No Regrets!  

I think it's diff for each person ....Im 7 years out from my transplant Feb 05.....I had hep C contracted when I worked in an emer room back in med 70's..... so im probably past due....but some live much longer.....what liver you get, and where seems to make a diff also...Mine was done at Duke Univ Hosp in Durham, NC....Sylvia Edwards

 Hi Velina, What a fabulous discussion!

You are goin to be overwhelmed by reply's.

I am almost 5 Yrs out from ''Liver Replacement'', I have searched 100's of sites looking for those exact answers. Most of the sites were for Doctors & Hospitals. The one thing I found, was 90% of the studies only went for 5 years.

I went to a Transplant Picnic at my Hospital (OHSU) for the 1000th Liver TX. I made the mistake of asking how many invitations they sent out. I shouldn't have asked that, they told me 500. "O No".

There are a million factors for how long, we all know that.

I am just Glad I'm "Still Alive & Well" 

 

Worrying about "how long" is a waste of time. Nobody knows what, when, or where we'll die. When I received my transplant, in July 2009, one of the nurses told me a new liver was good for at least 25 years. That would make me 84. I'm not even sure I want to live that long. 80 sounds about right. We have already experienced a miracle, appreciate it, and take it for what it is.

Hi Velina,

I read up on this topic after my first and second transplant. I am 35 right now, and had my first transplant when I was 32 and second when I was 34.

Here is a link to an article with some information:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1856771/

It's data on UK liver transplants, but I expect data on US liver transplant to be similar.

I find that reading up on these things is very useful - I feel better if I am more educated on the topic. It helps me cope a lot.

However, I think it is important to understand that the data gives you an idea of what to expect, but your story and situation is unique. This means that you have to take into account your primary cause of liver disease, as well as your overall health, etc.

(BTW, I found that link by searching for 'life expectancy liver transplants' in scholar.google.com)

Best wishes of health and longevity,

Leeza

I received a liver as part of a multivisceral transplant and I have already been blessed with more than six years of life as a result. There have been times when I wondered about average survival rates for my kind of transplant just to get a basic idea. Then I realize that this is just a statistic and a human is not a statistic. I just try to make the most of the days I have to spend with family and friends that I know I would not have had without the transplant. The human spirit can often endure much more than one supposes it can based on appearances or first impressions. I suppose that is why I love to study about the human body because it still continues to amaze even the professionals sometimes. May you be able to celebrate very many liver anniversaries and be continually blessed along the way. Best of wishes.

It seems I read of someone who had one over 40 years. Sorry I can't recall the details.

You must realize nobody had a crystal ball as to how long anyone will live.

Statistics can be deceiving. Things are improving as more people get transplants.

There is ongoing research and no doubt things will continue to improve.

Hope that helps !

Long-Term Survival After Liver Transplantation in 4,000 Consecutive Patients at a Single Center

"Four thousand consecutive patients who underwent liver transplantation between February 1981 and April 1998 were included in this analysis and were followed up to March 2000. The effect of donor and recipient age at the time of transplantation, recipient gender, diagnosis, and year of transplantation were compared. Rates of retransplantation, causes of retransplantation, and cause of death were also examined."


Interesting read and comprehensive...............Article from Annals of Surgery 2000 October

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1421181/

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