Surgery

Once a donor liver becomes available, the patient must come to the hospital immediately and undergo testing to ensure he or she is healthy enough to withstand transplantation. Deceased donor procedures must be done within 12 to 18 hours of the donor organ's procurement.

The transplant procedure is performed under general anesthesia, and entails numerous steps:

  • A tube is inserted into the patient's throat to facilitate breathing during surgery
  • Immunosuppressant drugs are administered to prevent organ rejection
  • Surgeons make an incision across the patient's abdomen
  • The diseased liver is disconnected from the main blood vessels and bile ducts
  • The new liver is then placed in the abdomen and connected to the blood vessels and bile ducts
  • The abdominal incision is closed with sutures and staples
  • The patient is taken to the intensive care unit for recovery

Surgery may take between four and eight hours.

Contact

NewYork-Presbyterian/
Columbia University Medical Center

Center for Liver Disease and Transplantation
Phone: 877-LIVER-MD (877-548-3763)

NewYork-Presbyterian/
Weill Cornell Medical Center

Center for Liver Disease and Transplantation
Phone: 646-962-LIVER (646-962-5483)

 

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