About liver transplants

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Read about the reasons you might need a liver transplant and how a liver transplant can affect your future.

Key points

  • A liver transplant is an operation that moves a liver (or part of a liver) from one person (the donor) to another person (you, the recipient).
  • You will need a transplant if your liver is not working well enough to keep you healthy or if you have a metabolic condition that can be stabilized with a liver transplant.
  • The disease that causes you to need a liver transplant is often called your primary disease.

The goal of a liver transplant is to improve liver function and have you feeling better.

 

A liver transplant is an operation that moves a liver (or part of a liver) from one person (the donor) to another person (you, the recipient).

You will need a liver transplant if:

  • your liver is not working well enough to keep you healthy
  • you have a metabolic condition that can be stabilized with a liver transplant.

The disease that causes you to need a liver transplant is often called your primary disease. It is important that you know the name of your specific liver or metabolic disease and how it affects your health.

If you know the name, write it down in your health journal or in MyHealth Passport. If you do not already use MyHealth Passport, you can use a detailed health journal for your notes. However, if you do use MyHealth Passport, you might find the shorter journal useful.

Your doctor or nurse will be happy to answer any questions you have during your clinic appointments.

How a liver transplant can affect your future

You will need to do some important things to look after your liver.

  • You will need to take your medication as prescribed by your transplant team.
  • You will need to have regular bloodwork (blood tests) and visit the transplant team or clinic regularly so they can check how you are adjusting to your new liver.
  • You will not be able to return to school for a few weeks after being discharged from the hospital. From then on, you can return to school and start to live a more normal life.
  • Your friends and family can visit you in the hospital or at home after your surgery but not if they are sick with a cold or fever or have vomiting or diarrhea.
Last updated: November 30th 2017