One of the most popular resolution at New Years is to “cut down” or “stop” alcohol use. While this is a good idea, there are a few special tips to understand. View Dr. Joe Galati and the video from today, January 2, 2017.
by Dr. Joe Galati on 01/02/2017
by Dr. Joe Galati on 12/14/2015
Our team is very interested to learn about the public’s perception regarding alcoholism and the availability of liver transplantation. For the past 25 years, most programs have been hesitant to transplant alcoholics because of the concern for drinking after successful transplant. Without getting into the details of survival after transplant for those with alcohol related liver disease, the perception from the general public is that for many, alcoholics should be judged differently than non-alcoholic patients. This survey is a first attempt to better understand the thought process of the non-medically trained public.
Below is the link to our survey. We appreciate your participation.
Joseph S. Galati, M.D.
Brandi McCall, RN
by Dr. Joe Galati on 09/26/2013
A segment that I recorded for this weeks Your Health First was with Dr. Howard Monsour. who’s the Chief of hepatology at Houston Methodist. In this two-part interview, we discussed various aspects of alcoholic liver disease, effects of acetaminophen on the liver, and the difference between men and women in their alcohol consumption.
As noted in prior posts, the issue of liver transplant in patients with alcoholism and alcoholic cirrhosis is controversial, but when carefully reviewed, their outcomes following transplant are equal or better than other diseases we transplant livers for.
by Dr. Joe Galati on 09/25/2013
I spent the day in Minnesota today giving a lecture on the ethics of transplanting patients with alcoholic liver disease. This is one of the more debated issues in medicine as well as in the field of transplantation.
Historically, patients with alcoholic liver disease need to wait six months before being considered a candidate for liver transplant. This so-called “six-month rule” generally requires patients to be abstinent for six months prior to that being seriously considered for transplant. One problem with the six-month rule is that there is no meaningful research indicating that being abstinent for six months reduces the chance of alcohol consumption after a successful transplant.
One of the major concern is the resumption of damaging alcohol use after transplant. Here again, the research is lacking, with no firm evidence that patients transplanted for alcoholic liver disease resume alcohol abuse to the point of damaging the newly transplanted liver.
Patients that are transplant for alcoholic liver disease have some of the best outcome and highest survival, compared to those transplanted for autoimmune or viral hepatitis.
There is a growing sentiment amongst transplant programs around the country that the six-month rule needs to be phased out. From an ethical standpoint, considering patients with alcoholic liver disease have equal or better survival compared to other forms of liver disease that are transplanted, there is no ethical reason to deny patients this opportunity.
Patients with alcohol induced liver disease need a comprehensive evaluation prior to transplant, and will need to participate in rehabilitation before and after successful transplant.
It will take time to implement this type of change in the transplant community. I firmly believe that patients with alcoholic liver disease deserve a second look, and that eventually phasing out the six month rule is the first step.
Public opinion in this area needs work, reassuring the public, and potential organ donors, that these donated organs will be transplanted into worthy candidates that will have excellent outcomes and survival.
For more information or to be evaluated for a liver transplant, contact us at 713-794-0700 or visit us at www.texasLiver.com.
Share your thoughts.
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