In the past two decades, death rates after liver transplantation have dropped by more than half in the UK, according to a recent analysis of almost 10,000 liver transplant recipients published in BJS (British Journal of Surgery). During this time period, survival over the first 3 years has improved to 83.1% in 2012-2016 (from 71.7% in 1997-2001) for patients who had transplants for cancer and to 90.7% (from 79.6%) for those transplanted for benign diseases.
“The increase in survival after liver transplantation in the last 20 years can be explained by a combination of factors. There are improvements in short-time survival that are probably related to surgical technique and perioperative care, and improvements in long-term outcomes that are linked to developments in immunosuppression and follow-up care,” said study coauthor Professor Nigel Heaton, MBBS, FRCS, of King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.
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