If your child has end-stage liver disease and needs a transplant, our pediatric liver transplant experts can provide the care your child requires and the hope your family is looking for. We’re one of the best in the nation based on our clinical outcomes for pediatric liver transplants (when considered according to how complex a case is and how severe the illness).
A pediatric liver transplant is a technically demanding operation. After all, the liver is the largest solid organ in the body and has multiple purposes, including the most important: cleaning the blood, producing an important digestive liquid called “bile,” and storing energy from the foods we eat in the form of a sugar called “glycogen.”
Types of Liver Donors
Your child may be able to get a donated liver in one of two ways from a:
- living donor: either a relative, called a “living related donor,” or another unrelated adult
- deceased (or cadaver) donor: the most common way, donated by a healthy adult or child who became critically ill and died of this illness, which is after the person or his or her guardians agreed to donate the organs in the event of a sudden death
How a Pediatric Liver Transplant Works
Once your child gets the team’s OK after all of the required evaluations, tests, and consultations are completed and a deceased or living donor match is found, your child is ready for the liver transplant surgery.
During the transplant, the entire liver of the child receiving the transplant is removed. Then the new liver (or liver portion) is attached in place of the old liver with connections to the important blood vessels. The surgery generally takes 4 to 8 hours. Your child will be admitted to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit after the procedure is over. He or she will be closely monitored and, when ready, will be transferred to a more relaxed setting on the regular inpatient area.
Most children recover from a pediatric liver transplant within a few days. They’re able to eat and move around without much assistance. In a few weeks, they can even return to an active life. Our team members will also work with you and your child for the long-term. We want to make sure your child is healthy now and far into the future.