Liver Transplant Transplant Services

Getting Ready for a Liver Transplant

We understand that the waiting period can be stressful. During this time, we encourage you to continue seeking support and maintaining a positive attitude.

While on the waiting list, please keep in frequent contact with your transplant coordinator regarding:

  • Hospitalizationsóduring clinic hours, call your coordinator. For emergencies only (after clinic hours or on holidays), call the Stanford Page Operator at (650) 723-6661 and ask for the on-call hepatology coordinator or hepatologist to be paged.
  • Lab work, ultrasounds or CT scans done in your local area
  • Health status or medication changes
  • Insurance or physician changes
  • New contact information, including address and phone number

Other important patient responsibilities while on the waiting list:

  • Maintain routine clinic visits with your hepatologist. If rescheduling is necessary, you must do so before the appointment day, except in cases of emergency.
  • Bring a list of all medications with dosage and frequency and written list of questions to your clinic appointments.
  • Obtain a Primary Care Physician (PCP) and maintain regular visits.
  • Have abdominal imaging in the form of ultrasound, CT scan or MRI every six months to check for liver cancer.
  • Abstain completely from drinking alcohol, smoking cigarettes, or using illicit drugs.

Always follow the recommendations of your transplant team in regards to clinic appointments, medications, diet, exercise, smoking cessation, and/or Alcoholics or Narcotics Anonymous attendance.

Surgery & Recovery

Depending on the type of transplant you have, surgery can take from six to twelve hours. During your surgery, your family may wait in the ICU waiting room. Your surgeon will update your family after the surgery is completed.

After surgery, you will be transferred to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). Patients usually stay in the ICU for 24 to 48 hours before being transferred to the transplant unit. Liver transplant recipients typically stay in the hospital for five to ten days.

While you are recovering in the hospital, we will provide you with one-on-one education on how to take your medications and manage your post transplant care.

Due to the nature of liver transplantation, complications can happen. Generally, the sicker you are going into the transplant, the greater the risk of complications. These may require additional treatment and delay your discharge. Stanford is known for taking on some of the most challenging transplant cases. Our patients are some of the sickest patients in the country. Despite this, we consistently have outstanding results.

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