Liver transplant

A liver transplant is a surgical procedure to remove a diseased liver and replace it with a healthy liver from a donor. Most liver transplant operations use livers from deceased donors, though a liver may also come from a living donor.

The number of people waiting for new livers is much larger than the number of available livers, so liver transplant is reserved for people who are critically ill. Some people receive a liver transplant right away, while others spend many months waiting for a liver transplant.


Why it's done Risks How you prepare What you can expect Results

Liver transplant is a treatment option for people who have end-stage liver failure that can't be controlled using other treatments and for some people with liver cancer. Liver failure can occur rapidly, in a matter of weeks (acute liver failure), or it can occur slowly over months and years (chronic liver failure).

Liver failure has many causes, including:

  • Liver cirrhosis
  • Alcoholic liver disease
  • Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease
  • Early-stage liver cancer
  • Hemochromatosis
  • Primary biliary cirrhosis
  • Primary sclerosing cholangitis
  • Wilson's disease
  • Biliary duct atresia
  • Cystic fibrosis
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