What are the possible complications after liver transplantation?
Two of the most common complications after liver transplantation are rejection and infection:
- Rejection: Your immune system works to destroy foreign substances that invade your body. The immune system, however, cannot tell the difference between your transplanted liver and unwanted invaders, such as viruses and bacteria, so it attempts to attack and destroy your new liver. This is called a rejection episode. About 30% of all liver transplant patients have some degree of organ rejection in the first year. Patients take anti-rejection medications to ward off the immune system attack.
- Infection: Because anti-rejection drugs suppress the immune system, liver transplant patients are at increased risk for infections. This problem lessens over time. Not all patients have problems with infections, and most infections can be treated successfully as they occur.