Here’s some more of the dose of reality from the surgeon:
- Because of Jay’s portal hypertension, he’s at a great risk for excessive bleeding during surgery.
- He might die in surgery (I mean, I might die while he’s in surgery, too, but transplanting an organ increases that risk significantly).
- He is also at an increased risk after surgery for Secondary Sclerosing Cholangitis (his actual diagnosis is Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis). This would require a retransplant in the weeks or months after the original transplant. It occurs because it’s difficult to attach the donor Common Bile Duct to the recipient Common Bile Duct. It’s even more complicated with Jay because his Common Bile Duct is already a piece of junk anyway, so they may have to create a whole new CBD for him (Roux-en-Y). So a regular old liver transplant patient (without Jay’s diagnosis of PSC) is automatically at risk for essentially what Jay has already. That’s a little disconcerting.
Jay’s liver is cirrhotic (his liver tissue is breaking down) as a result of the damage that PSC has been doing for the last 10 years to his bile ducts. So the transplant is more complicated for him than it would be for someone who had pickled their liver with alcohol (because in that case, the damage to the liver would only be to the tissue).
This is the first time that little tidbit has ever occurred to me. I think I’m glad I hadn’t considered it before.
We’ll see what the Endoscopy holds.