Frequently Asked Questions

Pre-Op

This will depend on the severity your condition. Patients with the most acute cases are placed at the top of the list. We will continue to manage your condition while you wait for your transplant. Learn more in our Frequently Asked Questions.

Insurance, whether private, Medicare or Medicaid, will pay for your evaluation and surgery. Please contact your insurance for specific levels of coverage. Learn more in our Frequently Asked Questions.

The liver is the biggest organ inside the body. It is on the right side under the rib cage. It filters out nutrients absorbed in the intestines and carried by the blood. It also breaks down toxins in the blood picked up in the intestinal tract.  In addition, it produces bile, which helps to digest food in the intestine. It also produces many of the proteins your body needs to function.

There are many possible reasons to need a liver transplant. If your liver is failing or you have certain diseases that affect the liver, you may need a transplant. The need for transplant can only be determined after an examination and testing by a liver specialist.

You can call (708) 327-4TXP, (708-327-4897), to speak with a Liver Transplant representative.

A liver transplant evaluation is extensive. It requires many tests and examinations to determine your need and it is different for each patient depending on how sick you are.

Liver transplants are routinely done on patients of all ages. At Loyola, we only perform adult liver transplants. A typical range is 18-70, but that depends on a variety of factors.

After being approved for a liver transplant, you will be registered with the United Network for Organ Sharing, more commonly called UNOS. That is the national waiting list that all patients are placed on. The list is the place where donor organs are matched with recipients who are on the wait list. You can visit their Web site for research and educational articles on transplantation.

In general, maintaining your health as much as possible is the plan. You typically go about life as usual. Your doctors may have specific medications or treatments they may prescribe for you, but staying in the best health is the goal.

After surgery, you will need to time to recover. That's why we set visiting hours. Visiting hours for most patients are from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Typically, you need to be at the hospital within 1-2 hours after we receive word that a liver is available. If you need to travel a long distance, your request for a liver may be put on hold while you are away. Your time away does not affect your place on the list.

Post-Op

All surgical times vary, but a typical liver transplant takes on average about 4 to 5 hours.

Every patient is different, but the average length of stay for a liver transplant is approximately 1 week. Recovery is also very different and it depends on your level of function prior to surgery. On average, most patients resume “normal” activities within 6 weeks.

It should be very different! Especially if you were very sick before the transplant. Some patients say that they never expected to feel that good. Again, every patient is different and it all depends on what your level of activity and health was prior to transplant.

There are specific precautions you must take to prevent rejection. You will need to take your medications exactly as prescribed and there are certain places you will likely want to avoid after transplant.

Right after your surgery, you will see your doctor very often and have blood tests done to check your liver’s function. You will likely see them weekly for about 6 weeks then approximately every month for several months.

For the rest of your life! The anti-rejection medications are extremely important and must be taken to ensure your best possible chances to prevent rejection. It is important that you follow a strict regimen and take them every day, preferably at the same time every day. Taking your medications is one of the most important things you need to do after your liver transplant.

There are many different medications and it will depend on any other medical problems you may have. You will have several medications that are directly related to your transplant and any others your doctor may prescribe for other medical problems.

Ready to Get Started?

For medical consults or to refer a patient, call 85-LiverDoc (855-483-7362) to speak with a representative.

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