Liver Transplant Wait List Times
Patients at Tampa General Hospital’s Transplant Institute experience some of the shortest liver transplant wait times in the country, often less than the national average waiting period of 149 days. If you are seeking a liver transplant at our institute, you will be added onto a wait list once you are approved by our health care team and your authorization has been granted by your insurance provider. This wait list is maintained by the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS).
How are Liver Transplant Wait Times Determined?
Liver transplants aren’t first come, first served. There is a special system in place to help ensure that patients with more critical needs receive transplants first. To determine the urgency of a patient’s situation, the Model for End-Stage Liver Disease (MELD) system is used. Your MELD score will be based on your:
- Sodium levels, which are indicative of your body’s fluid balance
- Bilirubin levels, which reflect how well your liver produces bile
- Creatinine levels, to check for poor kidney function (a sign of advanced liver disease)
- Prothrombin time (PT/INR), to gauge your liver’s ability to clot blood
This information will be taken into account and scored from six to 40, with 40 being the most urgent need for transplantation.
It’s important to note that a MELD score isn’t everything. Other factors, such as your blood type, weight, overall health and even how well you keep your medical appointments can impact your liver transplant wait time. Your MELD score can also rise or fall based on changes in your lab work, and your position in UNOS will be updated accordingly by your TGH transplant coordinator.
Contact Tampa General Hospital’s Transplant Institute at 1-800-505-7769 (press 4 for the liver transplant program and ask for the referral coordinator) if you have any questions about our liver transplant wait times or approach to liver disease treatment. Or you can call the coordinator directly at (813) 844-8686. TGH is proud to be a leader in organ transplantation and has facilitated more than 10,000 organ transplants since the founding of our program.