Treatments & Procedures

The expert team at the Sherrie and Alan Conover Center for Liver Disease & Transplantation will conduct a thorough evaluation and assessment accurately determine your condition’s severity and surgery fitness. 

A transplant surgeon and hepatologist will explain the surgical procedure and what to expect after surgery. You also will meet with a financial specialist, social worker and possibly a dietician. 

Evaluation 
After meeting the transplant team, you undergo a medical evaluation, including:
• Blood work
• Imaging studies
• Cardiac testing

Following evaluation, our team will present your case to our patient selection committee. This committee of medical experts, nurses, financial specialists and social workers will review your results and determine whether you are a transplant program candidate.

You will be added to the national organ transplant registry, the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) if you are accepted to the transplant program. UNOS ensures all patients in need of a transplant receive fair donor organ access. Once you are placed on the transplant list, you will be assigned to a transplant nurse who will serve as your care coordinator.

The severity of your condition will be scored and determine your transplant list ranking. The time between being listed and receiving your transplant will depend on your score. Your coordinator will tell you when you are close to receiving a transplant.

During the Wait
Once you are listed, you frequently will return to the transplant clinic for lab work and followups. You also will undergo updated cardiac testing and liver imaging to ensure your suitability for your transplant. You and your caregivers will be encouraged to attend our education classes offered at our transplant clinics, online and by teleconference. 

You must be ready to receive a transplant as soon as you are listed. Transplantation must take place as soon as possible after a suitable donor liver becomes available. After you are notified an organ is available, you must immediately go to the hospital. You must continually have reliable transportation and have a packed bag with your medicines ready to go. 

Liver Transplant Surgery 
Before your transplant, your physician will explain the surgery. You may be asked to sign consents for surgery, anesthesia and possibly participation in transplant research. You will receive general anesthesia so you will sleep during the procedure. You will be in the operating room six or more hours. 

After Liver Transplant Surgery 
You will be taken to the intensive care unit (ICU), where the team will monitor you after surgery. You will be on a breathing machine until you awaken and maintain adequate lung function, as well as meet other parameters.

After you get out of bed and walk, you will be transferred from ICU to the transplant floor to prepare for your discharge. The transplant team will work with you to control pain that you may feel.

Depending on your recover, you may go home one to two weeks after your surgery. You may be sent to a rehabilitation facility if you need more time to build your strength.

Going Home and Staying Healthy 
During the first few weeks of your recovery, you will not be permitted to drive or lift anything more than 10 pounds.

You may be able to perform most routine activities within a few months after your surgery. The transplant team will closely monitor your progress, so you must be available for frequent clinic appointments and lab tests. You also will be asked to attend our transplant patient education classes, during which you will learn how to care for your new organ and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Click here to read about what you should to expect regarding the transplant process and issues you will face after you return home following your transplant.

Patient Stories 
The best information about Houston Methodist’s highly trained liver transplant specialists comes from our patients. Read their inspiring stories and learn about their experiences at Houston Methodist.
  • At age 23, Laura Criel was fighting for her life when she arrived at Houston Methodist, desperate for a liver transplant. It took two transplants in as many weeks for Laura to get the liver she needed to survive.
  • Kande Fogle is cancer- free after receiving a life-saving liver transplant.
  • Tyrone Ivory received a heart-liver transplant and lives an illness-free life.
  • After undergoing a liver transplant, Beverly Lanier is thankful for the treatment she received at Houston Methodist that helped her beat cancer.

TREATMENT LOCATIONS

Our physicians specialize in liver transplantation at the following locations.

Our physicians conduct pre and posttransplant evaluations at the following convenient locations.