What to Expect During Your Liver Transplant Evaluation
You'll see a Virtua hepatologist (liver disease specialist) first to determine the cause of your liver disease. If the hepatologist determines that you're a possible candidate for a liver transplant, your case will be presented to the Liver Transplant Review Committee for a full evaluation.
The Liver Transplant Review Committee consists of transplant surgeons, hepatologists, anesthesiologists, transplant administrators, transplant coordinators, psychiatrists, social workers, finance coordinators and dietitians. The evaluation will determine if your medical, social, and psychological circumstances will likely result in a successful transplant.
You may be eligible for a liver transplant if you have:
- End-stage liver disease that has not improved with other medical or surgical therapies
- Cirrhosis (scarring) of the liver
- Liver cancer
- Acute liver failure
- Cholestatic liver diseases
- Primary metabolic diseases
Liver transplantation is not an appropriate treatment for everyone, so our liver specialists will thoroughly evaluate your medical condition and provide a personalized treatment plan.
Liver Transplant Screenings
As part of the evaluation, you'll undergo a physical examination. This will include:
- Laboratory testing (blood and urine)
- An echocardiogram and stress test to determine your heart health. You also may need an angiogram and cardiac catheterization to examine blood flow through your heart, liver and blood vessels
- A chest X-ray to check your lung health
- An MRI or CT scan of your abdomen
- An abdominal ultrasound to check the blood vessels going to and from the liver and look for any obstructions or tumors
- An endoscopy to check for bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract
- A colonoscopy to check for pre-cancerous polyps
- For women, a gynecologic exam and Pap smear. Women age 40 and older will need a mammogram
- For men older than age 40, a PSA blood test
Once you are accepted for listing with the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS), you will meet with a transplant surgeon, transplant coordinator, dietitian, financial coordinator, and social worker. The team will discuss the waiting list process, the surgery, alternate treatments available and life after transplant.