Liver Transplant Surgery
Your transplant coordinator notifies you immediately when a compatible donor liver becomes available, so the surgery can begin as soon as possible.
Liver Transplant Surgery: What to Expect
Transplanting a liver can take six to 12 hours, with an approximate hospital stay of seven to 10 days. Surgery may take longer if you are receiving more than one organ, such as a liver and a heart. A team with expertise in caring for patients after a transplant will monitor you during your recovery.
During your hospital stay, you begin taking immunosuppressants, or anti-rejection drugs. If you received a liver from someone who had hepatitis C, we start treatment to kill the virus.
After a Liver Transplant
Your liver transplant team stays in contact with you and your community doctor so we can detect problems early and prevent organ rejection. Your follow-up care plan includes:
- Tests: Upon discharge, you undergo periodic tests and follow-up exams at UNC Medical Center or a UNC Health Care clinic.
- Rehab: When you have permission from your doctor, you may participate in physical therapy through UNC Rehabilitation Services or with a community provider. Therapy helps you regain your strength and stamina.
Patient Support Services
Throughout the transplant process, you and your family receive personal attention from dedicated transplant coordinators. These specialists can arrange medical tests, answer questions and serve as liaisons between you and your transplant team. Our patient support team also assists with accommodations, billing issues, mental health counseling and other resources.