Liver Transplant | Transplant | Loyola Medicine

Liver Transplant

Exceptional Outcomes for Liver Transplant Patients

Loyola Medicine offers the highest level of multidisciplinary, integrated care for liver disease and liver failure patients who require a liver transplant. Loyola takes on the most challenging cases, some of which are turned away by other centers. Our outcomes are outstanding.

Liver transplant surgery is a life-saving treatment for individuals with end-stage liver disease. Liver transplantation is a complex and technically demanding operation most often performed when other treatment options have been exhausted.

Why Choose Loyola for Liver Transplants?

You will recieve individualized care by a team of transplant professionals who are dedicated to the well-being of their patients. We are thorough in our evaluation and management and provide detailed patient and family education. Loyola’s entire liver transplant team will ensure that you are in the best possible state of health before surgery and help you through the post-transplant recovery so that you can return to health.

While you wait for a liver, you may face other health challenges related to your condition. Loyola’s subspecialists provide expertise in a wide range of health conditions, and your transplant team will facilitate a referral to an appropriate specialist if needed.

At Loyola Medicine, you will have an entire team on your side, including your transplant hepatologist, transplant surgeon, anesthesiologists, nurse coordinators, nurse practitioners, procurement nurses, interventional radiologists, transplant chaplains, infectious disease specialists, physical therapists, dietitians, financial coordinators, clinical pharmacists, social workers and psychologists. We have one goal: restoring you to better health.

We also understand that receiving care close to home makes life easier, which is why we provide transplant hepatology care in a number of convenient locations in the Chicago metropolitan area and across the state of Illinois.

What Diseases are Treated with Liver Transplant?

Loyola’s hepatologists and transplant surgeons are well-versed in every type of liver disease. If your condition is not well controlled using medical treatments, a liver transplant may be the best medical option.

Some conditions that lead to end-stage liver disease and the need for liver transplant surgery include: 

Evaluation and Wait List for Liver Transplants

If your Loyola hepatologist recommends a liver transplant, we will start a liver transplant evaluation. The evaluation has several steps, and your transplant team will guide you through the process.

You will spend a day at Loyola University Medical Center meeting members of the transplant team, having an education session and starting the evaluation. Several comprehensive tests will be ordered to assess the status of your health and determine your MELD score (model for end-stage liver disease), the score is used to determine priority on the liver transplant waiting list.

Patients awaiting a transplant attend an educational class on the liver transplant process and meet with every member of the Loyola transplant care team. The team includes: a transplant hepatologist and surgeon, nurse coordinator, social worker, financial counselor, dietitian, transplant pharmacist, infectious disease physician and psychologist. Other medical or surgical specialities ay be consulted depending on your specific medical condition or results from the testing, which will include:

Some conditions may be barriers to being eligible for transplant and include but are not limited to:

  • Active alcohol or substance abuse problems
  • Certain cancers
  • Inability to comply with treatment, such as failure to take medications consistentyl or failure to attend office visits
  • Lack of social and financial support
  • Obesity
  • Severe heart or vascular disease
  • Severe lung disease

Waiting for a donor can be a stressful time for patients and their families, especially because the duration of the wait time wait time is uncertain. We have a team of social workers and psychologists who can provide support if needed.

To learn more, read our liver transplant frequently asked questions or call us at 708-327-4TXP (708-327-4897).

Ongoing Treatment and Recovery after Liver Transplant Surgery

Once you are on the list for a donor liver, your Loyola team will monitor closely and make sure that you remain up to date on your testing. We also will work with you on your physical activity and dietary plans so that you are in the best possible condition once an organ match is available. When a donor liver becomes available for you, we will call you into the hospital.

When you arrive at the hospital, your care team will perform additional tests before the surgery. The liver transplant surgery will take four to six hours. After the transplant, your care team will be by your side to assist with your recovery. Physical therapists will work with you to get you up and walking. Many liver transplant recipients go home after spending 7 to 10 days recovering in the hospital. Some patients require a longer hospitalization or a stay in a rehabilitation facility before heading home.

Prior to hospital discharge, a transplant nurse coordinator will provide education for you and a family member about medications and map out your upcoming lab tests and doctor visits to monitor liver function. Transplant patients will continue to have several appointments with their transplant care team in the first year after surgery. Should you ever have a question, your Loyola transplant care team is available around the clock.

Pre- and Post-Liver Transplant Care in Your Community

Loyola understands that receiving care close to home before and after your liver transplant makes life easier, which is why we provide pre- and post- transplant care for patients in a number of locations across Chicago and the suburbs:

Loyola Medicine hepatology transplant locations

Ongoing Clinical Trials to Advance Liver Transplant Research

Loyola is conducting research today that will lead to the treatments of tomorrow. Our hepatology program’s research expertise includes treatment options for liver transplant surgeryhepatitis Bhepatitis Cliver cancer and fatty liver disease.

Loyola patients will be granted access to the latest medications and therapies through our clinical trials.