Liver transplantation is an accepted and successful therapy for patients suffering from severe liver disease. The number of liver transplants performed at Penn Medicine averages about 130 procedures a year.
There are four major stages in the liver transplant process at Penn Medicine:
After reviewing the medical records and tests results, the liver transplant team determines if a liver transplant evaluation is appropriate. Patients who are candidates for transplant are contacted to schedule an appointment. The liver transplant team may also discuss the possibility of living donor liver transplantation with patients.
The decision to proceed with a liver transplant represents a strong commitment to self-care and medical follow-up, so the ultimate decision rests with the patients. Only they can evaluate their quality of life and determine whether or not a liver transplant is worth pursuing.
Liver Transplant Waiting List
Those patients who decide to pursue a liver transplant are placed on the waiting list. Being “placed on the list” means their names and certain medical information are entered into the national database overseen by the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS).
When a donor liver is identified, the patient is called in to the hospital. On average, liver transplant patients remain in the hospital eight to 16 days after their surgery.
After leaving the hospital, patients are expected to return to the Penn Transplant Institute for ongoing therapy and medical care and are monitored for any signs of infection, rejection or medication side effects.
A living donor liver transplant can minimize the time a patient spends on the waiting list. Learn more about Penn Transplant Institute’s Living Donor Liver Transplant program.