The Liver Transplant Program at the Carolinas Center for Liver Diseases is a multidisciplinary program providing comprehensive care to patients with advanced liver disease. Our goal is to provide excellent care with compassion to patients with liver disease.
Since performing our first liver transplant in 1994, we have performed more than 600 liver transplants. Our medical staff includes:
- Liver transplant surgeons
- Social workers
Carolinas Center for Liver Diseases offers comprehensive management of patients with:
- Hepatitis C
- Hepatitis B
- Alcohol- and drug-related liver disease
- Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease
- Autoimmune liver disease
- Primary biliary cirrhosis
- Primary sclerosing cholangitis
- Wilson’s disease
- Acute liver failure
- Alpha-1-antitrypsin deficiency
- Evaluation of liver mass
- Hepatocellular carcinoma
- Portal vein thrombosis
Patient Information and Resources for Liver Transplant
Deciding to have a liver transplant is a decision that requires a strong commitment by the patient and his or her family members. The transplant evaluation consists of a medical, surgical, social, and financial evaluation to ensure that this surgery is right for you. The purpose of this evaluation is to help determine if the transplant candidate has the psychological and financial stability, motivation and adequate support at home to be successful with transplant.
If you have a history of substance abuse, you may be required to complete an intensive outpatient treatment program along with continuing sobriety support. To receive a liver transplant, you must also give up nicotine, alcohol and drug use for good. To ensure you are nicotine-, alcohol- and drug-free, random screenings may be done by the transplant team both before and after liver transplant.
There are many tests required to determine whether a liver transplant is right for you. These may include :
- Chest X-ray
- Carotid ultrasound
- Abdominal ultrasound
- Triphasic spiral CT/MRI
- Echocardiogram with bubble study
- Pulmonary functions with arterial blood gas
- Cardiac stress test or cardiac catheterization
- Cardiologist consultation
- Psychiatrist/psychologist evaluation
- Evaluation by a transplant surgeon
You will also need to make sure you have the following tests completed :
- Mammogram within 12 months for females over the age of 40
- Pap smear within 12 months for females over the age of 18
- PSA within 12 months for males over the age of 50
- Colonoscopy for patients over the age of 50
- Dental evaluation within 12 months
If accepted as a transplant patient, we will reach out to your insurance carrier to get authorization for transplant; you are then placed on the United Network for Organ Sharing national waiting list.
Waiting for a Transplant
Patients on the waiting list will be scheduled for periodic re-evaluation. It’s important for the transplant candidate to keep the transplant center informed of changes in medical condition, support and insurance while on the transplant waitlist. You should follow a healthy diet and stay active while waiting for a transplant because this will help you heal faster after your transplant.
After Liver Transplant
After liver transplant, you most likely will return to your home; however, some patients may require physical rehabilitation before they can go home. If this is the case, you will go to a local rehabilitation facility that will give you physical therapy to help with activities of daily living such as bathing, dressing and walking.
After liver transplant, you will have follow-up visits to see your doctor to see how your new liver is functioning.
Each patient is required by the Transplant Center at Atrium Health to have a support person. Patients with good support have better outcomes after transplant. This could be a relative or friend who is committed to helping you throughout your evaluations, the waiting period and in the months following transplant.
The role of the support person before transplant includes going with you to medical appointments, providing emotional support and going with you to the hospital when a liver is available for transplant. After surgery, your support person will help you after you get home from the hospital, learn about prevention and identification of infections and rejection, and encourage you to have a healthy diet and to exercise.