A liver transplant involves the removal of a diseased, non-functioning liver and replacing it with a donor's liver. Liver transplant procedures are performed for people who have severe conditions that result in liver failure, such as hepatocellular diseases and certain types of liver tumors. Transplants are generally seen as a last resort for patients who have already undergone other treatments without experiencing improvement in their conditions, and for patients with urgent conditions like fulminant liver failure.
The hepatobiliary experts at The Center for Liver Disease and Transplant at Tampa General Hospital’s Transplant Institute perform a high volume of liver transplants. We treat some of the most complex cases of advanced liver disease in our Liver Transplant Center and Liver Cancer Program. We help patients who are referred to our center understand their treatment options and guide them through the liver transplant process to determine their eligibility for transplant.
Conditions Treated with Liver Transplant
Advanced liver diseases are often precursors to transplant and include:
- Acute liver disease
- Chronic liver disease
- Liver tumors
- Complications of cirrhosis
- Gallbladder and biliary tract diseases
Liver Transplant Procedure Details
A typical liver transplant surgery takes about six to 12 hours. During the procedure, a surgeon will remove the liver and replace it with a donor's liver. In some cases, other forms of surgery may also be completed, such as bile duct resection, gallbladder removal or even multi-organ transplants.
Once the surgery is finished, the patient is taken to the surgical intensive care unit.
What to Expect
In the one to two weeks after liver transplant surgery, we will perform routine blood tests and X-rays. The patient will have daily visits with surgeons and the hepatology care team. The patient will also participate in several educational sessions, where topics such as pharmacy and nutrition information are covered.
Most patients are discharged from the hospital between seven and 14 days after their liver transplant surgery. However, some patients stay longer, depending on how sick they were before their liver transplant procedure.
Effectiveness of Liver Transplant
A liver transplant is an effective treatment for many advanced liver diseases but does not come without risks. A patient’s body may reject the donor liver and the risk for infections increases dramatically in the first few weeks after surgery.
The liver transplant experts at The Center for Advanced Liver Disease and Transplant perform many liver transplants with favorable outcomes and an above-average survival rate, according to the Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients data.
Become a Liver Transplant Patient at TGH
To become a patient in our Liver Transplant Program, you, your physician, or another hospital must fill out a referral form or call 813-844-8686. To speak to a transplant coordinator, call 813-844-7137.