Liver Transplants in Memphis, Tennessee
Patients come from across America to receive a liver transplant at the Methodist University Hospital Transplant Institute in Memphis, Tennessee.
A liver transplant is a surgical procedure performed to replace a diseased liver with a healthy liver from a deceased donor.
A liver transplant is recommended for individuals who have serious liver dysfunction and will not be able to live without having the liver replaced. The most common liver disease for which transplants are done is cirrhosis. Other diseases may include the following:
- acute hepatic necrosis
- biliary atresia
- metabolic disease
- liver cancers
- autoimmune hepatitis
- liver damage from overdose of medications toxic to the liver
An evaluation is critical to determine if an organ transplant is the course of treatment for these diseases. With a referral from their primary physician, potential candidates are given a pre-transplant evaluation. The evaluation can take four to six hours or longer.
The evaluation process also involves scheduling of tests and other physician referrals, so it may take several weeks to complete the evaluation and place a patient on the transplant waiting list. The evaluation process includes:
- a personal interview with the patient
- visits with a social worker and financial counselor
- complete medical work up including lab tests, abdominal ultrasound and/or CT scan,
- psychological clearance, colonoscopy, EKG and a number of other tests
The transplant team will review the evaluation results, and if they find that the patient would be a good candidate for a liver transplant, and financial arrangements are in order, the patient is officially listed on the recipient waiting list with the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS).
The United Network for Organ Sharing is responsible for transplant organ distribution in the United States. UNOS oversees the allocation of many different types of organ transplants, including liver, kidney, pancreas, heart and lung.
UNOS receives data from hospitals and medical centers throughout the country regarding adults and children who need organ transplants. Our organ transplant team is responsible for sending the data to UNOS, and updating them as your condition changes.
Criteria have been developed to ensure that all people on the waiting list are judged fairly as to the severity of their illness and the urgency of receiving a transplant. Once UNOS receives the data from local hospitals, people waiting for a transplant are placed on a waiting list and given a "status" code. The people in most urgent need of a transplant are placed highest on the status list and are given first priority when a donor liver becomes available.
Living with a liver transplant is a life-long process. Medications must be given that trick the immune system so it will not attack the transplanted organ. Other medications must be given to prevent side effects of the anti-rejection medications. Frequent visits to and contact with the transplant team are essential.
There is no good answer to how long an individual can be expected to live after a liver transplant. Each person is different and every transplant is different. Results improve continually as physicians and scientists learn more about how the body deals with transplanted organs and search for ways to improve the success of transplantation.
To find a liver transplant surgeon in Memphis, Tennessee, please use our physician locator or call 888.777.5959.