Pediatric Transplant Care

Pediatric Liver Transplant Surgery

Depend on the expert transplant surgeons at University Health to perform your child’s living donor or deceased donor liver transplant surgery.

Experienced Liver Transplant Team

Feel confident your child is in good hands. Your child’s transplant surgeon is highly trained to provide superior surgical care with compassion.

When a Liver Match Is Available

Expect your transplant nurse coordinator to call you when a deceased-donor liver is available for your child. Remember, this could be anytime, so prepare ahead. You will get specific instructions about what to do and when to come to University Hospital. Follow your coordinator’s instructions and gather your prepacked suitcase and other necessary items.

Preparation for Liver Transplant Surgery

Your child will have more tests to ensure the donor's liver is a match before transplant surgery. These may include:

  • Blood work
  • Chest X-ray
  • Dialysis (if needed)
  • Electrocardiogram (EKG)
  • Final crossmatch
  • Physical examination and evaluation review

We can cancel or postpone surgery if your child has a medical problem or the donor's liver has a problem.

Informed Consent

We will ask for your consent to perform surgery before your child’s transplant operation. You decide whether your child will have a liver transplant.

Types of Liver Transplants

Rely on our skilled surgeons to perform one of three types of liver transplants for your child, including:

  • Reduced size – Resizes an adult donor liver to create one that is the appropriate size for a child
  • Split – Donor's liver is “split” into two segments, allowing for two recipients to receive a transplant
  • Whole – Entire donor liver is transplanted

Your Child’s Liver Transplant Surgery

An anesthesiologist will give your child medicine to be in a deep sleep during surgery. Surgery will last three to four hours.

Your child’s transplant surgeon will:

  • Make a boomerang-shaped incision under your child’s rib cage
  • Remove the old liver
  • Attach the donor liver to your child’s blood vessels and bile ducts

You and your family will be in a waiting room, and a team member will inform you of your child’s progress.

After the operation, the transplant surgeon will update you. Your child will recover in a dedicated pediatric transplant intensive care unit.

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