(WYTV) – There are 4.5 million Americans suffering with chronic liver disease.
It may run in your family and show up in time if you have hepatitis or cancer, or if you’ve been drinking too much. A virus or injury can also bring on liver disease quickly.
We need our liver for our metabolism to digest our food and rid our body of toxins.
“Once liver disease advances, the only way we can reverse the process and give the patient their life back is by replacing the liver with a liver transplant,” said Dr. Bashar Aqel, with the Mayo Clinic.
There are two options — someone who has died donated a liver or someone living donates a piece of their liver.
A healthy liver is able to regenerate. With the living donor liver transplant, both segments of the liver will grow back to almost normal size within 90 days of the procedure.
Being a living organ donor may not be an option for everyone but there are ways people can sign up to be an organ donor. It’s as easy as checking a box when getting or renewing your driver’s license.