Various factors may impact a liver failure prognosis, primarily the illness causing the problems as well as the overall health and age of the patient. Those with additional conditions or incurable liver disease generally have a much poorer prognosis than others. The availability of a donor liver, in the event that one is needed, also plays a large role in the prognosis of liver failure.
"Liver failure" refers to the cessation of the liver to function properly. Many times dialysis is needed to take over the normal filtering functions of the liver until treatment or a transplant can be performed. There are many different illnesses or conditions which may eventually lead to liver disease and even organ failure, and many of these conditions are preventable. Risk factors for liver failure can include alcoholism, the use of recreational drugs, and a diet which is high in fat.
One of the main things which affects a liver failure prognosis is the disease or condition which caused the liver to fail. Cirrhosis of the liver and hepatitis are often less likely to be successfully cured or treated without a transplant. Fatty liver or liver failure related to the dysfunction of another organ, such as the kidneys, may be more easily treated if the underlying condition is cured.
The overall health and age of a patient also affects the liver failure prognosis by a large degree. Those with additional health problems or illnesses often have a harder time recovering from liver disease. This is especially true for those who have chronic or life-threatening conditions, such as cancer or long-term kidney or heart failure.
Among patients who require a transplant, the accessibility of a donor organ may greatly affect the liver failure prognosis. Liver donors can come from a deceased patient who specified that he or she would like to be a donor, or from a live donor. Only a portion of a healthy and functioning liver is needed in order to do a transplant since both the liver portion and donor’s liver will replenish themselves over time. Most liver donors are family members of the patients.
Dialysis can sustain a patient for a limited amount of time, but if the underlying condition cannot be cured or stabilized, a transplant may be needed. Some patients remain on a transplant list for many months before a donor is found, although family members who are willing to donate are generally checked for compatibility first.