Liver Transplantation

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Contact the Liver Transplant Program

"Of all the organs that can be transplanted, the liver is the most tolerant of rejection. This means that liver transplant patients can often get by with low levels of immunosuppressive medication, and avoid some of the risks associated with them."

Maureen Jonas, MD, medical director, Liver Transplant Program

If your child’s liver disease is no longer responding to treatment, or your child has acute liver failure, a liver transplant may be an option to give him a longer and healthier life. A liver transplant is an operation performed to replace a diseased liver with a healthy liver or segment of a healthy liver.

  • The liver may come from an organ donor who has died, or from a family member who is willing to donate a part of his or her liver and is a suitable candidate.
     
  • In some cases, it’s done in combination with other organ transplants, such as intestines or kidneys.
  • First year survival rates for children who have been treated by our Liver Transplant Program are excellent. Click here to watch a video about liver transplantation here at Boston Children’s. 
     

Click here to watch a video about liver transplantation here at Boston Children’s.

How Boston Children's Hospital approaches a liver transplant

Our Liver Transplant Program evaluates infants, children and adolescents with end-stage liver disease who may be candidates for transplants, and we care for them before and after the transplant. We work closely with Boston Children’s Center for Childhood Liver Disease.

Whether your child needs a whole organ transplant, reduced-size liver transplant, split liver transplant or living donor transplant, he is in good hands with us. Your child’s team includes:

  • Pediatric liver transplant surgeons
  • Hepatologists and other gastroenterologists
  • Advanced practice nurses
  • Transplant coordinators
  • Transplant anesthesiologists
  • Transplant pharmacists
  • Dietitians
  • Transplant infectious disease specialists
  • Transplant psychologists
  • Transplant social workers
  • General radiologists and interventional radiologists

We also bring in experts from additional sub-specialties throughout Boston Children's to join your child’s care team as needed, including Child Life specialists, physical therapists and resource specialists to support your whole family.

To speak with a member of our Liver Transplant Team, please call:  617-35-LIVER.

Helping your child with medical experiences: a practical parent guide

Download a free booklet, “Helping Your Child with Medical Experiences: A Practical Parent Guide” (please note that Adobe Acrobat is required) and read about topics including:

  • Talking to your child about his condition
  • Preparing for surgery and hospitalization
  • Supporting siblings
  • Taking care of yourself during your child’s illness
  • Adjusting to life after treatment

Liver transplant: Reviewed by Maureen Jonas, MD
© Boston Children's Hospital, 2010

 

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