Father needs liver transplant..questions

  1. Hi all. desperately need some help here. i'm a nursing student and my father was diagnosed with cirrhosis of the liver last month. he was in the hospital for a week and had 4 liters of fluid drained due to ascetis. he's lost alot of weight and is just worn out all of the time...and honestly doens't look good at all. we don't know why he has cirrhosis. he doesn't drink... not even beer...and he doesn't do drugs or have cancer or Hep. they still haven't done a biopsy because of remaining ascetis and issues with clotting, but they did a cat scan and this jerk doctor said "you're liver's shrunken up like you've been drinking for 20 years!" at which point my mom yelled at him and said my dad doesn't drink and then she burst into tears. That really hurt my dad's feeling because his father was an abusive alcoholic that deserted him and his mother when he was 11. So today he went to the doctor and they told him he needs a liver transplant and will start the process of putting him on the transplant list. Besides his liver he is in pretty good health, 58 years old and only about 40 lbs overweight. I just want to know in your honest opinions do you think he has a good shot at getting a new liver? and the doctors won't tell us what will happen if he doesn't get one. We know this will eventually kill him, but is this something that he will suffer through for years? i'm just scared and overwhelmed. so someone please help with some honest answers about what is going on or will go on and pray for him. thanks.
    Last edit by MagicalThinking on Mar 29, '06
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    About MagicalThinking

    Joined: Nov '05; Posts: 63; Likes: 10
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    10 Comments

  3. by   ortizgi
    hey my mother did not use drugs or drink at all either and she has it too, i feel ur pain completely, the doctors toldher her own body was creating the disease and that this very rare. Transplants are long processes, they can take years, there is many tests to be done,(from what i hear) i am only a nursing student and tha's kinda've all i know, i hope everything will be ok; stay strong for ur dad!
  4. by   TazziRN
    A pox on that doctor, I hope you're getting Dad another one!!! Cirrhosis is NOT just from drinking, in fact there is a diagnosis called non-alcoholic cirrhosis. As for his chances of getting a liver, it depends on how sick he is. The sicker he is, the higher on the list he will be placed, the better his chances of getting a liver.

    Here's a thought you can bring up to your family.....has anyone suggested a living donor transplant? Kidneys, lungs, and livers can be procured from living donors. If a family member (or close friend who's willing to try) is a match, part of the donor liver is removed and transplanted, and both recipient and donor will grow a full-sized liver from the tissue.
  5. by   perfectbluebuildings
    I am sorry for that insensitive medical "professional" speaking to your family that way; a doctor should be more educated!!

    has your dad or anyone in your family been tested for alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency? it can cause liver problems including cirrhosis, and lung problems sometimes; it's an autosomal-recessive disease that i know about b/c it runs in my family, and people have had issues r/t liver and lung stuff. just something to check on.

    hugs to you and your family, this cannot be an easy thing to go through. please take care!!!
  6. by   TheCommuter
    Surprisingly, regular acetaminophen use can cause cirrhosis of the liver. Acetaminophen overdose is the number one cause of liver failure in children. Also, I have a friend whose mother died from liver failure induced by repeated use of Tylenol over the years.

    My mother had a liver transplantation nearly 4 years ago, and I am glad to say that she is doing wonderfully. You or a suitable family member could possibly donate a portion of your liver to your father. Most of the general public is blissfully unaware that the liver is capable of regenerating. If you donate half your liver to your father, it will take an average of 3 to 4 weeks for your own liver to regenerate. Ask your father's doctor about the possibility of living donation. I will keep your family in my thoughts and prayers.
  7. by   MagicalThinking
    thanks everyone!!! we are considering the living donor option...so hopefully that might work out. his sister already offered. the "jerk" doctor has since been replaced thank goodness and now my dad has wonderful doctors working with him. the tough thing right now is that he is in a constant battle with ascetis and is on aldacton (sp?) and lasik...its giving him really bad diarrhea and he's also vomiting. they said its because if he doesn't drink enough water that will happen, but it seems to happen no matter how much water he drinks. any tips??? he asked his doctor about it, but he just said drink more water. and thanks again for all the positive thoughts ya'll.:spin:
  8. by   leslie :-D
    i took the liberty of providing a few links about your dad's sickness, and the 2 meds you had questions about.

    praying for a healthy, peaceful outcome.

    nonalcoholic cirrhosis:
    www.ahealthyme.com/topic/cirrhosisnonalc

    aldactone:
    http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/d...r/a682627.html

    lasix:
    http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/d...r/a682858.html


    leslie
  9. by   NRSKarenRN
    cirrhosis is caused by chronic liver disease. common causes of chronic liver disease in the us include hepatitis c infection and long-term alcohol abuse (see alcoholic liver disease). other causes of cirrhosis include hepatitis b, medications, autoimmune inflammation of the liver, disorders of the drainage system of the liver (the biliary system), and metabolic disorders of iron and copper (hemochromatosis and wilson's disease).
    [color=#ff4400]http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/e...cle/000255.htm


    liver transplant

    medlineplus medical encyclopedia: liver transplant

    liver transplant patient guide


    healing thoughts coming your way!
  10. by   blueheaven
    Quote from TazziRN
    A pox on that doctor, I hope you're getting Dad another one!!! Cirrhosis is NOT just from drinking, in fact there is a diagnosis called non-alcoholic cirrhosis. As for his chances of getting a liver, it depends on how sick he is. The sicker he is, the higher on the list he will be placed, the better his chances of getting a liver.

    Here's a thought you can bring up to your family.....has anyone suggested a living donor transplant? Kidneys, lungs, and livers can be procured from living donors. If a family member (or close friend who's willing to try) is a match, part of the donor liver is removed and transplanted, and both recipient and donor will grow a full-sized liver from the tissue.
    Yes, they do living donor transplants here, both at Johns Hopkins and at University of Maryland. As for the non alcoholic cirrhosis it's called NASH or fatty liver disease. Double the pox on that doc!!!!! SHAME.
  11. by   mssara01
    I hope that your dad is doing ok, myhusband has been thru al lthis and I can give my advise and tel lyou what we have went thru if you like.
    You can emailme at :
    Mssara1962@yahoo.com
    We can talk further reg this .
    Sara
  12. by   mssara01

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