The transplant process begins with a referral:
- Your physician can refer you to Ochsner’s liver transplant program by phone, email, fax or mail.
- You may also call to refer yourself.
We will contact you to gather initial information over the phone. After we get financial clearance from your insurance company, your initial work-up appointments are scheduled.
We know you have a sick liver. Now we want to be sure you are a good transplant candidate. We call this your transplant work-up or evaluation – just a fancy word for how we decide if a liver transplant is right for you.
We look at three areas to decide if transplant is right for you:
Make sure you are healthy enough for the transplant surgery and life after transplant.
- We collect important information about your health from several medical tests and visits.
- We look more closely at your liver and body.
2. Psychological and Social
Make sure you are prepared for the lifetime commitments needed for a transplant. We ask for important information about your past and present life.
We look more closely at your life to be sure you:
- Are mentally and emotionally prepared for life with a new liver.
- Have enough people to care for you before and after transplant.
Make sure you are financially ready for the lifetime costs of a liver transplant.
- We give you important information about costs before and after transplant.
- We look more closely at your insurance and finances to be sure you can pay all transplant costs.
Once all medical tests have been completed, your case is presented to a committee to discuss your eligibility for a transplant. If it is decided that you meet the requirements, you will placed on the list for transplant.
We have one of the shortest wait times in the United States. During your waiting time, you may be required to come in for updated testing.
When a donor organ becomes available, you must be able to leave within 30 minutes for the hospital, where you will be admitted for the transplant. You will be in the operating room for about four to six hours.
You will be taken to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) after surgery, where you will be closely monitored. You will be transferred to the transplant floor when your medical condition has stabilized. You will remain in the hospital as long as your physicians feel hospitalization is necessary for your recovery. Most patients stay in the hospital for about one week.
You will still be recovering after you leave the hospital. You will have some restrictions in your daily activities for the first four to six weeks. The transplant team will follow your progress during the recovery period.
You will need to be monitored on a long-term basis, so you must make yourself available for examinations, laboratory tests and scans of your abdomen to see how well your transplanted liver is working.
The transplant team will see you regularly for the first year after transplant. You will be followed by the transplant team for life. For most patients, this involves frequent lab work and a yearly clinic visit.
You must have a primary care physician to care for your general health needs after transplant. We will transition your routine medical care to your primary care physician. Transplant coordinators and physicians are available 24 hours a day to assist your local doctor care for you.