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Avatar universal

Live Liver Donation

My mother was diagnosed with Hep C last year and we were told that her best option would be a Live Liver Donation.  My sister, a few of my aunts and I are going to be tested to find the best match in a few months.  I'm a regular marijuana smoker so I'm a little afraid of what kind of damage I could have already done to my liver and if I was to decide to continue marijuana use will I lessen my chances of being the donor?  Also if they do use my liver will my marijuana use increase my mothers chances of rejecting it or does marijuana have any effect on that?   I need to know so I can quit ASAP if the need be, thank you.
24 Responses
Avatar universal
My doctor specifically told me that marijuana would not have a bad effect on my liver and that I should feel free to use for side effects while on tx. He is not a pothead type, so I tend to trust him. However, I am in favor of it, so there you go.

All the studies I have found seem to confirm one's prejudices--those in favor have their studies and those against have those.
Avatar universal
My GI also told me that smoking pot would not harm my liver.......He is not a pothead type either.....I trust him.......and i asked him if smoking would be harmful to me while on TX, he said NO.........smoke as needed to help with my sides.......It sure does cut the edge off things.  I quit smoking prior to TX and it wasnt untill a few weeks ago that i asked him.......i did shot #14 Monday......
Avatar universal
I do know that you can't be a liver receipant and smoke pot.  I would think the MD's would have the same standards for donors-they can't really say its harmless in the current society.  That would negate all those dragonian laws against med or any marijuanna.

I smoked before, during and after.  I cl'ed a 24yr+ transfused infection in 18 days. 2b.  I didn't use any other meds for depression, insommnia, nausea and floating anxiety.

I think nutrition, moderate daily exercise and prayer-meditation are absolutely essential before, during and after.  I already had complete liver failure and now feel much better.

Marijuanna is a very important herb in my personal herbal arsonal.

I was told that I needed a transplant, b/my chances w/no insurance, income and blood type of O neg (universal donar)  were just about nil.  I decided I didn't want to die on a transplant waiting list, tethered to a hospital, not able to travel or smoke marijuanna, cooped up in crummy city apartment far from my home and dogs for potentially yrs, just in case that pager went off and someone had died.  Ugg!

The idea of my last few years living like that sucked!

So I decided that life style overhaul and tx and the freedom to live life fully-incl smoking what I want-was my choice.

So, since 9-12-2001, I've tx successfully, traveled to Cabo, Paris and Amsterdam, Oregon, Hollywood, many many concerts in E Wash where I live-hundreds of miles from the transplant centers in Seattle.  And I smoked dope in every place I've gone.  Amsterdam is the bomb!

Everyone makes their own decisions.  I wanted to live well, travel far and smoke dope.  Transplant was not an option for me.  I've already outlived the ave 23mo on a waiting list and the 2yrs after esophacal bleeding and liver failure.  I think I made the right decision for me.
9648 tn?1290091207
Where are you in East Washington? I go to Loon Lake every summer which is about a half hour above Spokane in Stevens County. I've toodled around up there in many of the small towns over the years. :)
Avatar universal
I used to smoke pot but stopped once I was a serious candidate for transplantation. At one point I asked my transplant surgeon how they viewed pot useage. He said they never denied a liver for that. This was in 2000 and I don't know what their view is now. But after transplantation I was given a long lists of don'ts e.g....drinking, smoking runny eggs, salad bars or buffets, swimming in the ocean, raw or medium raw steaks, oysters/clams and so on and so on. But not one word on pot. For what it's worth I don't think it's a problem. BUT, I feel that if you are going to embark on this serious of a journey then you should probably eliminate any behavior that could conceivably compromise success. I'd get absolutely straight and as healthy as I could. Good luck. Mike
Avatar universal
First of all, your hepatitis C status would make you a low priority donor and possibly rule you out altogether.

Second, smoking has been independently associated with increased fibrosis in the liver in studies. Smoking anything is likely to have the same result.

People who smoke cigarettes or marijuana are not eligible for a liver transplant at any transplant site in the USA that I am aware of. Transplant Centers have some leeway, but  have a dim view of smokers.

Studies have shown that marijuana has allowed people to remain on therapy longer, thus more people in the study finished the therapy. Those studies did not asssess biopsy results only side effect tolerance. Marijuana makes you feel better.

Studies of the chemicals in marijuana have found that they may, indeed, provide some beneficial effects, but not in smoked form. Research is ongoing into a safer delivery system than smoking. Currently an inhaler similar to an asthma inhaler is being explored, along with a nose spray.

There are pharmaceutical alternatives to marijuana.

Narcotics are easier on the liver than any pharmaceutical known. Unfortunately, they can be addictive which puts some physicians off.

I hope this helps,

thanbey

Avatar universal
You may be right but as of 2000 Starzl Center in Pgh. PA did not exclude smokers of tobaco or pot. Methadone users and cigarette smokers were transplanted. Maybe today it's different but not in 2000. Mike
Avatar universal
Minor point: marijuana is not a narcotic and not physically addictive as heroin, alcohol, barbituates, etc. are. The smoking concerns are probably valid, but a dose of 3x smoked amount sauteed in butter for 5 minutes, taste neutralized with brown sugar provides longer term effects without smoke effects.
Avatar universal
It has to do with surgical complications and the risk to the DONOR.

This is a totally unnecessary surgery for the donor so donors are highly screened. There have been cases where the recipient lived and the donor died of surgical complications. They are very strict about this now.

For the patient, it is a matter of life and death so the rpotential benefit outweigh the risks for those accepted into the program. Not so for the donor.

Smoking is a high surgical risk factor for anyone.

thanbey
Avatar universal
I have no position on the matter.

Once people have the facts, it is up to them to decide what they wish to do.

My statement may not have been clear. Narcotics are the safest drugs for the liver. I did not intend to suggest that marijuana is a narcotic.

Whether it is addictive or not is a matter of discussion that has never been clearly resolved. For purposes of this discussion, that point is not relevant.

My opinion is that doctors make too much out of the addiction issue when prescribing medications. I have asked a number of neurologists about this and they have conviced me that this is a primary concern. Alleviating pain should come first.

Frankly, I know little about ingesting marijuana (other than brownies!) The main issues appears to be smoking it.

thanbey
Avatar universal
Neurologists ahve told me addiction is NOT a primary concern when prescribing pain medication.

sorry about that.........

th
Avatar universal
To be clear, I am not offering an opinion on liver donor/recepient qualifications, only on marijuana and tx. I do agree with Mike that you should do everything you can to maximize your chances of success in transplant as well as tx. I refrained from marijuana for the first 12 weeks of tx for that reason. After my initial clear, and with my dr's consent, I resumed moderate useage. It does help with the side effects and as New Sojourn once put it, "it takes your mind off the tx for a while."
Avatar universal
way back in 69-70 i worked the burn unit at brook army hosp. in san antonia.
we gave our burn pt's lots of narcs for pain controle, as they improved we would wean them down off the narcs.
i rember there were a lot of studies being done at the time there on the addition rate, at it turned out that it was amazingly low.
when used  for pain controle only it appeared that there was a low chance of addition.
as it was over 30 years ago i dont rember the numbers from the studies but i do rember the dr's saying  hit them morph till they are pain free or not breathing( if they od's we just narcaned them) we can deal with the potiential addition problem after we get them better.
Avatar universal
AMEN  :)~
Avatar universal
My concern for those on treatment who choose to smoke marijuana is the *potential* for diminished histological improvement.

Histology is  an important consideration.

th


Avatar universal
"My opinion is that doctors make too much out of the addiction issue when prescribing medications."
    I so completely agree with this statement and I have a PCP that has been very understanding about this.  That is why my 40 wks have been manageable so far.  Unfortunately he likes the combo better than plain narcotics, but I can't complain...
Avatar universal
This might sound like a dumb question, but what is tx?  My mom doesn't know either, she has 4th stage Hep C, and she wants to talk to her doctor about it....thanks.
Avatar universal
haha Am I looking in the mirror or what?  Someone just told me that it was really nice of me to consider being a donor..Which was very confusing because I'm thinking..."huh"  I don't think I could be a donor for now with my having hep c. Anyways..now I see its a new Honey!!  Hi and that is wonderful what you and your family are doing!!  Your mom is very lucky!  You have found a great place with caring people to help ya out here.
Avatar universal
Ya know, I was absent for a time, and when I logged back on this wk, this whole disclaimer thing and advertiser thing has made me less willing to share to much info any more.

This site just doesn't feel safe, warm and fuzzy any more.

I have a hard time w/this new site look and don't think I'll be stoping by much anymore.
9648 tn?1290091207
I'll be sorry if you stay away. I always feel you have something valuable to contribute. We all learn from your experience.

I don't like the ads either. Some of them are animated and very annoying. But I think they are trying to make this place more solvent and since it doesn't cost anything for us to post, they are looking for revenue elsewhere.

As far as the disclaimers go, that's a CYA sort of thing. I just wish they weren't quite so ugly... But that's me. I'm an aesthetics sort of person. :)

GB
Avatar universal
This site just doesn't feel safe, warm and fuzzy any more.
I agree!
I know you live some where near me here in Spokane. I wish you the best of life. You have been through a lot!
Next time I go over the pass I will stop at the top and take in the view and think of you.

dh bill
Avatar universal
Pointedly rude remarks are old and tired. They do not help anyone or anything.

Please leave that for email to your buddies and spare this board the unpleasantness.

I would personally be grateful.

thanbey
Avatar universal
You are a class act, my dear.

thank you,

thanbey
Avatar universal
your original question seems pretty important since your mothers life could depend on it.
I think mikesimon is the only one who attempted to really answer it. (Quit doing anything that could jeapordize this. Get as healthy and straight as you can- even if its just long enough to get this done) (That is-if you are really serious about helping your mom)
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