Liver Transplant


Liver transplantation was first performed in British Columbia in 1989. At present, about 60 to 70 adults undergo liver transplantation annually in B.C.


Although transplantation is considered an established form of treatment for end-stage organ failure, it is not suitable for everyone, so every potential transplant patient must be carefully assessed. The assessment phase starts when your specialist refers you to the transplant team. 

During the assessment, you will have several tests and be seen by various team members to determine whether transplantation is the best treatment option for you. The tests may include:

  • blood work
  • x-ray of the heart and lungs
  • abdominal ultrasound
  • CT scan
  • pulmonary function tests
  • ECG and echocardiogram.

Your Transplant Team

Your transplant team consists of experts who will help you throughout the transplantation process. Some of the team members are described below, but you may also meet others. Everyone is an important member of the team; however, the amount of time you spend with each will depend on your individual needs.

Family Physician/GP:  Your doctor will continue to provide day-to-day medical care.

Community Liver Specialist: Your specialist will continue to provide liver disease medical care throughout the transplant period.

Clinical Coordinator: These nurses coordinate your pre-transplant assessment, and provide you and your family, referring specialist, and family physician with information on transplantation and your progress from the time of referral until the day of your transplant. The coordinator also provides you with access to other members of the transplant team.

Medical Hepatologists: These doctors have specialized in the care of your liver. They are involved in your assessment before transplantation and your long-term health care following transplantation.

Surgeons: These doctors are specialists in transplant surgery, and will meet with you during your assessment. They perform the transplant surgery and are responsible for your health care immediately after surgery.

Dietitian: The dietitian assesses your nutritional needs and helps you put together a personal dietary plan to keep you in the best possible health before and after your transplant.

Social Worker: The social worker takes part in your pre-transplant assessment and is available throughout the transplantation process to provide you and your family with emotional support, information, and resource counseling.

Psychologist: The psychologist takes part in your pre-transplant assessment to help you with psychological concerns such as coping with stress, understanding mood changes, and managing pain.

Intensive Care Unit Nurses: These nurses are responsible for your care for the first few days following surgery.

Transplant Unit Nurses: These nurses are responsible for your care on the transplant ward until you're discharged from the hospital.

Physiotherapists: The physiotherapists help you with a series of physical exercises designed to speed you along the road to recovery. They will start meeting with you while you are still in intensive care.

Article:  Liver Transplantation - Current Status in British Columbia

For more information please contact:

Pre-Assessment Transplant Clinic
Vancouver General Hospital
Gordon and Leslie Diamond Health Care Centre
Level 5, 2775 Laurel Street
Vancouver, BC V5Z 1M9

604.875.5182 or 1.855.875.5182