Liver transplantation is a surgical procedure to replace the liver in a patient who has end-stage (serious) liver disease or liver failure with some or all of a healthy liver from another person. In adults, the most common conditions that may lead to liver transplantation include hepatitis C, hepatitis B, alcoholic liver disease, primary biliary cirrhosis, primary sclerosing cholangitis, autoimmune hepatitis, and fatty liver disease; among children, those conditions include cholestatic disease and certain metabolic disorders. Liver transplantation dates back to the 1960s and is a complex and lengthy surgical process involving several surgeons and anesthesiologists, and it requires a donor of similar size and blood type as the recipient.
UAB’s Liver Transplant Program – the only one in Alabama – has performed over 3,000 liver transplants since its launch in 1983. This volume has helped our program distinguish itself as one of the nation’s most experienced, with outcomes that consistently rank among the best in the United States, and we continue to overcome barriers to transplantation.
To better serve patients across a wide geographic territory, UAB streamlined the transplant evaluation process and reduced burdensome aspects. For the convenience of our patients, we provide comprehensive pre-transplant evaluations and post-transplant outpatient care at several satellite clinics in south Alabama and in Tennessee.
After leaving the surgical intensive care unit, liver transplant recipients are transferred to the dedicated liver transplant ward, which is continuously staffed by a dedicated transplant nursing team.
Patients are asked to stay within 50 miles of UAB Hospital for several weeks post-discharge to facilitate close monitoring. They can return home if they live within that radius or they can stay in a local hotel. The Hilton Hotel, located two blocks from our hospital and clinics, provides a comfortable place for patients and families to stay that is near their clinical team. Reduced rates are available for post-operative transplant patients and further reduced rates are available for low-income patients during their immediate post-operative stay. Assistance with meals is also available for low-income patients during this sensitive period.
The liver transplant clinic is located in The Kirklin Clinic of UAB Hospital, in close proximity to laboratory and radiology services. A Liver Disease Support Group meets regularly and publishes an informative newsletter.
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