Liver Transplant


A liver transplant is an operation in which a diseased liver is replaced with a healthy liver, or a portion of a liver from a donor.If your child’s liver is irreparably damaged or if your child has liver disease that prevents the liver from functioning appropriately, a transplant may be the only treatment option. In a liver transplant, surgeons will remove your child’s diseased liver and replace it with a healthy liver provided by a donor. Transplant surgeons increase access to organs for potential transplant recipients by using techniques such as reduced-size livers, whole livers and split livers. And thanks to new techniques, a person who needs a liver transplant can thrive if given only a portion of an organ, so a live donor can provide a liver segment.

The transplant program performs whole, split, and ABO incompatible liver transplants using deceased or living donor livers to treat a range of common diagnoses, including:

  • Alagille syndrome
  • Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency
  • Biliary atresia
  • Chronic acute hepatitis
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Intrahepatic liver disease
  • Liver failure
  • Liver tumors
  • Metabolic liver disease
  • Wilson’s disease

Among the services offered by the transplant team is:

  • Evaluation of children who may be candidates for transplant
  • Evaluation of possible living donors
  • Continued care and management of children who have received transplants
  • Transplantation of a deceased donor’s whole or split liver

Access the Liver Notebook (English) and in Spanish.

Additional Resources

Life after a Transplant and Additional Resources

Each child’s experience will differ and your child can expect to benefit from improvements in the understanding of liver transplantation and the prevention of rejection.

Your child will need specialized monitoring by transplant specialists through life. You are your child’s best advocate and are a most important person in his or her care team. Chief among the important contributions you make to your child’s ongoing wellbeing include:

  • Making sure that appointments are kept
  • Keeping up to date with visits to monitor antirejection and anti-infection medications
  • Keeping the lines of communication with the transplant team open
  • Being alert to and checking on a daily basis for signs and symptoms of rejection and immediately reporting any that arise
  • Educating your child as he or she gets older to recognize and report symptoms of rejection and take a more active part in their wellness.

Hospital Resources

In the hospital, further information is available at the Patient Family Resources Center in the lobby of Tower D and at the Krissi Hollman Family Resource Library located on C7.

Additional Resources 

Sometimes the best resource is another family whose children are affected. Liver Families is dedicated to providing an active, international, online community to families whose lives have been touched by pediatric liver disease and transplant. They offer support, knowledge and hope.

The American Liver Foundation - To learn about the latest research and treatments 

Children’s Liver Association for Support Services (C.L.A.S.S.) -  all-volunteer group founded out of the recognized need for an organization dedicated to addressing the emotional, educational and financial needs of families with children affected by liver disease and transplantation.

The Childhood Liver Disease Research and Education Network (ChiLDREN) - provides information and support to individuals and families affected by liver disease through its many research programs.

Liver Transplant

Phone: 214-456-8600

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