BENGALURU: Deaths due to liver cirrhosis have increased by more than 60 per cent in the past two decades, though 90 per cent of patients can be saved with liver transplants, which cures the underlying disease. Although over 1 lakh people in India require liver transplant every year, the number of transplants performed is just 0.05 per cent every year, according to Dr Mahesh Gopasetty, HOD and senior consultant, Hepato Pancreato Biliary (HPB) and transplant surgery, BGS Gleneagles Global Hospital.
Dr Adarsh C K, chief gastroenterologist and hepatologist, BGS Gleneagles Global Hospital, says that in the past two decades, the incidence of liver disease has gone up by at least 25 to 35 per cent. Currently, the liver disease burden is 10 per cent of the population, and about half of them need a transplant at some point of time, he said.
The two experts spoke to TNIE after announcing the success of their multi-organ transplant centre at BGS Gleneagles Global Hospital, the first in the State to complete 250 liver transplants in the past 12 years. The team of surgeons at the hospital has transplanted 120 livers from deceased donors and 119 from living donors, besides 11 kidney-liver combination transplants.
Despite Covid-induced challenges, the hospital carried out 13 liver transplants in 2021, thanks to donor coordinators from the State Organ and Tissue Transplant Organisation of Karnataka (SOTTO), they said.
Dr Adarsh said an increase in liver diseases can be attributed to excessive alcohol ingestion, and obesity. Most of those affected end up with fatty liver, and 20-30 per cent of patients progress to liver cirrhosis, which is irreversible.