A liver transplant evaluation is the first step of the transplant assessment process. Your evaluation will be organized in the
Liver Transplant Clinic.
During your liver transplant evaluation, you will have several tests done and you will talk to a member of the transplant team to find out if a transplant is safe and right for you. You will need to visit the
Toronto General Hospital 3-5 times to complete your evaluation.
Based on your age and your medical history, you may have some or all of these tests:
You will meet with transplant hepatologist (liver specialist), transplant surgeon, anesthetist, and social worker.
You might be asked to see other specialists, such as a cardiologist, (heart specialist), respirologist, psychiatrist or oncologist depending on your medical condition.
After your evaluation is done, your transplant team will review all your test results and will talk to you about whether a transplant is right for you.
You may be approved for a liver transplant if:
The entire team may then approve you for a transplant, based on your test results and current medical condition. The team will also consider two more important factors:
Living donor To increase your chance of getting a liver transplant, you should talk to people who may be interested in, and willing to, donate a liver to you. This is called a living donor liver transplant.
Your liver donor could be your spouse, a family member, a co-worker or even a stranger.
Don't count anyone out as a possible donor.
The UHN Liver Transplant team will work with you to find out if your possible live donor is a good match for you.
If you have found a
suitable living donor, you usually will be able to have your surgery
in approximately 1-3 months, if all your tests are acceptable and your donor is a good match. All of this information varies, depending on your individual circumstances.
Deceased donor If you cannot find a living donor, you will be placed on the deceased donor liver transplant waiting list. This means that you will wait for a liver donated from someone who has passed away. The starting time for your wait will be the first date you were placed on the waiting list. Right now, the time you may need to wait for a liver from a deceased donor is anywhere between 2 to 5 years.
It is very important to have a family doctor by the time of your transplant.
Before your transplant surgery, you should quit smoking, stop drinking alcohol and lose weight, if needed. This will help you prepare for surgery and may reduce your recovery time after surgery. The transplant team is here to help and support you at this time and you can also talk to your family doctor.