Under the Knife

So what exactly would this surgical procedure entail?

From the Mayo clinic:

In living-donor liver transplant, surgeons remove a portion of a donor’s liver. Another surgical team then removes the recipient’s entire diseased liver and replaces it with a portion of the living donor’s healthy liver. The donor’s liver and the portion of the donor’s liver given to the recipient grow back to their full size within a few weeks. 

In our case, I will be donating about 40% of the left lobe of my liver, which will become my mother’s full liver.

 

liver_surgery_options

 

I have posted photos from both my liver donation, and my mother’s receipt of the donor liver on the following pages.  Please take a look:

Parm’s Liver Donation

Heidi’s Liver Donation Received

Time to meet with the Surgical Team

I finally get to meet with the doctors who will be performing the operation.  They encourage me to ask about the process, I had my fair share of questions, they encouraged me to read about the options in terms of pain management, specifically epidural, or PCA.  I was informed that my gallbladder would be removed as part of the surgery, but not to worry, as the gall bladder is not totally necessary.  Basically, I would need to avoid buffets and very fatty foods in the future.

The specific procedure being performed on me would be a left hepatectomy meaning they would take a section of my left lobe, which would become my mother’s entire liver.  You read that correctly, the piece of liver that they will be transplanting into my mother would become her entire liver.

We also discussed the many possible complications related to this type of surgery, most importantly being death.  A 1 in 500 chance of death is statistically relevant, and is hard to fathom, but there are a few other complications that are not as serious, but still worth discussing.  I won’t go into the details on those complications here, because honestly I don’t need to worry about those until I possibly face them.  If you are interested, you can research some more of them here, and here, and here.

Did I mention that this is who will be performing my surgery?  Dr. Nancy Ascher…  Wow!  I get one of the best female surgeons in the world performing my surgery, and her Husband, Dr. John P Roberts, head of the department of Transplantation at UCSF, will be performing the surgery on my mom.  We are most definitely in the best hands on the west coast… probably the world.

I promise to keep you all updated shortly after the procedure, and during the recovery, so you can keep up to date with what happens to both my mother and myself.  Thanks for taking the time to read my story.

Back to the Blog for updates on the results and recovery.

4 thoughts on “Under the Knife

  1. This is great Parm! Thanks for sharing! I’ve been wondering how all of this was going to work.

    One question that your blog hasn’t answered yet though: what kind of treats can donors enjoy post-surgery? My usual go-to gifts for you would be hot sauce or booze, but I’m guessing those are no-nos 🙂

    Also, is there a way to mail or deliver gifts to you guys in the hospital?

    1. Maura,

      Thanks for the kind note. Booze and Hot Sauce are definitely off the table. I don’t need any treats as I will be on a fairly strict diet, but you are welcome to stop by during visiting hours if you are in the area.

  2. Great to hear you have such an amazing surgical team, that definitely helps put the mind at ease. I pray that your surgery will be completed without incident and you and mom’s recovery will be quick and full.

    There’s a verse in the bible about “There’s no greater love than this, to lay one’s life down for a friend (Mom works here too)”. Thanks for being a living example of that!

  3. Hey Parm,

    I just wanted to wish you and your mom a quick recovery. Your story is very inspiring and informative as well. Take care and keep up the great work in terms of your health.

    Eddy Ng

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