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Liver Transplant Surgery

Liver Transplant Surgery Experience at The Liver Institute at Methodist Dallas

Your Donor Liver Becomes Available

Donated organs are allocated according to the policy of United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS). The surgeon assesses the risks associated with this particular organ versus the risk of waiting for the next available donor and can base the specific recommendations on this information. When a liver becomes available, you will be contacted by the transplant coordinator at The Liver Institute and you must come to the hospital right away. You always have the option to decline an organ.

Before Liver Transplant Surgery

Once at the hospital, you will be prepared for surgery. When everything is organized, you will be scheduled for liver transplant surgery.

Liver Transplant Surgery

During the transplant surgery you will be put under general anesthesia, which means you will be given medications to put you to sleep, block pain, and paralyze parts of your body. You will also be placed on a machine to help you breathe. The anesthesiologist will talk with you in more detail about the risks of anesthesia. The transplant surgeon will make an incision in your abdomen. Through this incision a donated liver will be placed into your abdomen.

Drains may be put into your body to allow fluids to be removed and to help you heal. Special mechanical boots or sleeves around your legs will be used to keep blood flowing through your legs to try to prevent dangerous blood clots. You will be in the operating room approximately 4-6 hours.

Liver Transplant Recovery

After liver transplant surgery you will be moved to the surgical intensive care unit. When your medical condition has stabilized you will be transferred to the transplant floor. Your length of stay in the hospital will depend on the rate of your recovery. You will remain in the hospital as long as your physicians feel hospitalization is necessary. Most patients stay in the hospital for approximately one week, but hospitalization time can vary depending on the severity of your illness prior to transplant or complications after surgery.

After you leave the hospital you will still be recovering. For the first 4-6 weeks you will have some restrictions on your daily activities. If you experience any post-operative complications your recovery time may be longer. During the recovery period the transplant team will follow your progress.

The transplant team will see you regularly for three to six months post transplant. Every effort is made to transition your routine medical care to your primary care physician. You will be followed in the transplant clinic for life.

More Information about Our Liver Transplant Program and How to Apply

If you are a potential liver transplant patient, you or your doctor should call The Liver Institute at Methodist Dallas at (214) 947-4400 or 877-4A-LIVER to begin the evaluation and application process.

The Liver Transplant Handbook is a helpful guide to learning about liver transplantation at The Liver Institute.

The independently practicing physicians of The Liver Institute,