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Liver Transplant

A liver transplant is a life-preserving operation that replaces a diseased and poorly-functioning liver with either a whole or portion of a healthy donated liver.

Why are liver transplants done?

Liver transplantation has become a well-recognized treatment option for people with end-stage liver organ failure. 

What are the different kinds of liver transplant?

Livers can come from living or deceased donors.  

Living donor liver transplant: A living donor may be someone in your immediate or extended family, or it may be your spouse or a close friend. 

Deceased donor liver transplant: A deceased donor  is someone who has chosen to donate his or her organs upon death. In situations where the wishes of the deceased donor are not known, family members may consent to organ donation.

Liver transplantation is excellent therapy for patients with end-stage liver failure; however, a transplant may not be suitable for everyone. There are also different steps to follow if you're considering a living donor transplant. 

Every potential liver transplant patient must be carefully assessed. The assessment phase starts when your specialist refers you to the Liver Transplant Team.

In order to be eligible for a liver transplant, you must be a BC resident with a Personal Care Card Number and be referred by your specialist to the Liver Transplant Team at Vancouver General Hospital, in Vancouver. If you have a history of addiction to alcohol and/or drugs, you must also attend alcohol and drug relapse prevention counselling. 

For both living donors and recipients, a comprehensive profile of your personal, medical and family history will be compiled through the assessment process. You’ll be interviewed by various team members to determine whether transplantation is the best treatment option. You’ll also receive information that will help you decide whether you want to go ahead with the transplant or donation.

The routine assessment includes consultation with the members of the transplant team comprised of a Hepatologist, Transplant Surgeon, Clinical Coordinator, Social worker, Dietitian and Psychologist. If required, appointments will also be arranged with specialists from other disciplines.

Following surgery, you’ll be closely monitored for infection and rejection of your new liver. You’ll also be required to take various medications following your transplant as a preventative measure against commonly occurring infections and rejection. These medications are covered by BC Transplant with your valid BC Care Card Number.

For more information on managing your care, please visit our Medications page. For more on what to expect as a donor, please see the Living Donation page


More information?

If you have questions about the liver transplant process, please contact the Liver Transplant Program directly.

SOURCE: Liver Transplant ( )
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