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​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Overview of the Liver Transplant Program

When it comes to liver transplants, experience and expertise matter. Surgeons on the medical staff at Baylor University Medical Center, part of Baylor Scott & White Health and Baylor Scott & White All Saints Medical Center – Fort Worth have performed more than 4,500 liver transplants combined – placing us as one of only three centers in the nation to reach this milestone. We were one of the first of three centers in the United States and have grown to be one of the largest multi-specialty transplant centers in the nation with a global reputation for quality care.

Our liver transplant program is internationally recognized as a pioneering program in liver transplants and anti-rejection treatment, as well as hepatitis B and C research. In addition, our living donor liver transplant program is the first adult liver transplant program in Texas and today is the third largest living donor liver programs in Texas by volume. And with outreach locations throughout Texas, we are bringing over 30 years of experience treating patients with advanced liver disease to you.

Our Team of Liver Transplant Specialists

The surgeons on the medical staff at Baylor Scott & White Health are internationally renowned experts in the field of liver transplants and have published and presented some of the most groundbreaking research in national medical journals and at international professional symposiums.

Giuliano Testa, MD, chief of the Simmons Transplant Institute and division chief of abdominal transplant began the uterus transplant clinical trial as principal investigator. Baylor University Medical Center was the first in the United States to have a baby born to a mother who received a uterus transplant as part of this landmark clinical trial.

Goran Klintmalm, MD, chief emeritus of the Simmons Transplant Institute, edited Transplantation of the Liver, which is the universally used textbook in liver transplants.

James Trotter, MD, medical director of general transplant hepatology, co-authored and edited the textbook Medical Care of the Liver Transplant Patient, which is the most current clinical guide on how to best treat liver transplant patients.

Baylor Scott & White Health is also the home of the Liver Transplant Research Database System, which is the longest existing, most detailed liver transplant research database in the world.

Living Donor Liver Transplant

A living donor liver transplant is the best option for patients with end stage liver disease. In this procedure, the transplant team removes a portion of a healthy person's liver and puts it into a person with a sick liver. The healthy liver is divided and one side is removed for transplant. Within approximately 6-8 weeks, both the donor and recipient liver portions will grow to full size.

Becoming a Donor for a Live Liver Transplant

To get started, complete our confidential online health history questionnaire. A living donor coordinator will review your information to determine if you are a potential candidate for a live liver transplant. If so, the coordinator will contact you to review your health history questionnaire and answer any questions you have. Next, the Baylor Scott & White transplant team will complete an evaluation to determine if you can safely donate your liver. This will include medical tests and meetings to discuss the process.

If you have any questions at any time, you can call 214.820.GIFT ( 214.820.4438 ) and a living donor coordinator can help confidentially answer your questions.

Process and Criteria for a Liver Transplant

Liver transplant can be a complex process, but understanding how each stage works can help. The first step is determining if you are eligible based on your medical condition. If so, you will undergo a series of medical tests to evaluate if you are a candidate for a liver transplant. The results will be presented to the Liver Transplant Selection Committee at Baylor Scott & White. If you meet the criteria for a liver transplant and are approved financially, you'll be placed on the waiting list. You'll then work with a transplant coordinator to manage your liver disease until you receive a transplant. You can also apply to be placed on the waiting list at more than one hospital.

Who Is Considered a Candidate for the Liver Transplant List?

Patients who have cirrhosis with complications of end-stage liver disease in which there is no reasonable medical alternative treatment are eligible for liver transplant evaluation and waiting list placement. Patients with other conditions may also meet the criteria for a liver transplant and be considered for the list. These conditions include:

  • Hepatopulmonary syndrome – severe breathing problems caused by cirrhosis
  • Hepatic pulmonary hypertension – high pressure in the lungs caused by cirrhosis
  • Itching that cannot be treated
  • Tumors that cannot be surgically removed
  • Inborn errors of metabolism such as amyloidosis and oxalosis
  • Primary liver cancer without evidence of spread outside the liver
  • Recurrent episodes of bacterial cholangitis
  • Recurrent infection of the liver bile ducts

How Long Is the Waiting List for a Liver Transplant?

The time you will wait for a transplant is highly variable. If you have a live liver transplant, your surgery will be scheduled. If you are waiting for a deceased donor, your wait may be difficult to predict and can range from days to years.

Is a Transplant the Right Treatment for Chronic Liver Disease?

The best treatment option depends on your diagnosis because liver disease can develop and progress in different ways. Treatment of liver cirrhosis is the most common reason for a transplant, but you need a liver transplant if your liver is failing, is damaged to the point where it doesn't perform its normal functions and medical interventions are no longer effective.

Will Insurance Cover the Cost of a Liver Transplant?

We have a financial coordinator who will help you and your family with financial related questions or concerns regarding your transplant coverage.

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