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, and transplant coordinators, as well as a psychiatrist, social worker, pharmacist, finance coordinator and dietitian. 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 a condition such as:
- 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, and a series of tests and consultations. 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, based on your age and family medical history, 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 your evaluation is complete and the Virtua team determines you are eligible for a liver transplant, you will be placed on a national waiting list managed by the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS), the organization authorized by the federal government to maintain the database for all transplants in the United States.