Liver transplant: Who should be evaluated

Liver transplantation is the treatment of choice for most people with end stage liver failure from many different causes. A successful liver transplant will extend life and treat many of the complications of liver failure.

Complications of liver failure treated by a liver transplant 

  • Ascites (abdominal fluid accumulation)
  • Encephalopathy (confusion and coma)
  • Gastro-intestinal bleeding 
  • Malnutrition (muscle wasting and bone disease)
  • Other problems that result from liver failure

Diseases that can benefit from liver transplantation

  • Cirrhosis from chronic hepatitis B or C
  • Acute liver failure from many different causes (fulminant hepatic failure)
  • Cirrhosis from alcoholic liver disease in sober patients
  • Some liver cancers
  • Primary biliary cirrhosis and primary sclerosing cholangitis
  • Cirrhosis from auto-immune hepatitis
  • Many causes of cirrhosis in children such as biliary atresia and genetic errors of metabolism such as glycogen or ammonia cycle enzyme deficiencies
  • Others

Liver transplant referral

You can be referred for a liver transplant evaluation by your gastroenterologist, primary care physician, or a self-referral. To begin the process you can contact the UI Organ Transplant Center at 1-877-386-9108.

Most patients with liver problems have other medical illnesses. While these problems may be limiting factors in some instances, each patient is evaluated on an individual basis. We encourage you or your referring physicians to contact us to review your medical history to see if you might benefit from transplantation. An early evaluation, before you get too sick from the complications of liver disease, is never a bad idea. Our outstanding group of hepatologists (medical physicians specializing in the care of liver diseases) can work with your referring physician in the interim to keep you healthy.

Last reviewed: 
January 2018

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