Liver Transplant

Caring. Compassion. World-class care.

Since the fall of 1991, the UNC Liver Transplant Program has successfully cared for more than 700 adult and pediatric liver transplant patients with outcomes above the national average. UNC has specific strengths in the proactive and integrated care of patients with liver cancers, viral hepatitis, and fatty liver disease. Bolstered by an oncology team with a special interest in liver cancers at the NC Cancer Hospital here on our medical campus, UNC has built the largest program in the state for treating patients with liver cancer.

Making an Outpatient Referral

To refer a patient for evaluation of liver disease or failure, or to determine the patient's suitability for transplant, call UNC Liver Program at 919.966.2516.

UNC Liver Program Referral Form

Making an Inpatient Referral

To make an inpatient referral, please call the Transfer Center at 1-800-806-1968.

UNC physicians also may see potential liver transplant patients in other locations across North Carolina, including Asheville, High Point, Raleigh and Wilmington.

Candidacy for Liver Transplant

At UNC, our goal is always to see potential liver transplant candidates as early as possible in the course of disease, before additional complications weaken the patient and reduce the chance of recovery from the surgery and extensive rehabilitation.

Potential liver transplant patients are followed on an ongoing basis in the Pre-Transplant Clinic by our hepatologists. Care is coordinated with the referring physician to ensure that the patient remains viable for transplant, with any intervening illnesses and complications handled in a timely manner.

Liver transplant may be indicated for adults with a variety of diseases, including:

  • Hepatitis C or B viral infections
  • Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency
  • Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease
  • Hemochromatosis
  • Primary biliary cirrhosis
  • Hepatocellular carcinoma
  • Primary sclerosing cholangitis
  • Auto-immune hepatitis
  • Fulminant or acute liver failure
  • Cirrhosis (due to past alcohol use)

Liver transplants may be indicated for children with congenital conditions that include:

  • Biliary atresia
  • Auto-immune hepatitis
  • Hepatitis/fulminant failure
  • Cryptogenic cirrhosis
  • Metabolic disease
  • Alagille’s syndrome
  • Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency

Priority and urgency for transplant is primarily dictated by degree of liver failure, based on clinical parameters and lab studies. Patients with liver cancer or those with unique liver-related disorders may qualify for higher priority for transplant.