Center for Liver Disease and Transplantation

Liver Transplantation Patient Guide

About Liver Transplantation

The Center for Liver Disease and Transplantation may recommend a liver transplant for patients with severe liver disease and liver failure when all other treatment options are exhausted. This surgical procedure replaces your damaged liver with a healthy one. Ideally, after transplant, you are free from disease and able to lead a fairly normal life with your new liver. A liver can be transplanted from either a living or a deceased donor. The Center is one of only a few programs offering living donor liver transplantation.

Partial Liver Transplantation

Video: Innovations in Liver Transplantation
 Video: Innovations in Liver Transplantation (26 min)

A donated liver that has been stored with advanced machine preservation methods.
A donated liver that has been stored with advanced machine preservation methods

NYP/Columbia was one of the first institutions to perform split liver transplantation. This procedure now accounts for a substantial proportion of liver transplants in the U.S., primarily in children.

Patients with fulminant hepatic failure traditionally have had limited options: timely recovery of the native liver with medical management, or liver transplantation. Having revamped a procedure that was largely abandoned in the 1980's, transplant surgeons at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia are now able to offer patients an important alternative. In auxiliary partial orthotopic liver transplantation (APOLT), the surgeons resect part of the failing native liver and attach a partial donor liver to it. The donor liver supports the patient during recovery, clearing toxins and preventing brain injury. In the majority of patients, the native liver recovers with this support. Immunosuppressant medication can then be withdrawn, and the donor liver withers in most patients.

Although partial liver transplantation is particularly suited to children because the regenerative capacity of their livers is optimal, this technique may also be applied in young adults. In studies it has proven highly successful, with 100%of patients surviving at the time of this publication. Over half of patients have completely withdrawn from immunosuppression and the remainder are in the process of withdrawal. One patient required surgical removal of the donor liver. NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital is one of only a few hospitals worldwide with the expertise to perform partial liver transplantation. A pilot study published in March, 2012 showed that many children who receive a liver from a parent can safely stop using anti-rejection medications.

If you are interested in being evaluated for liver donation and want additional information, please contact the Center by calling our toll-free number for referrals and consultations, 1.877.LIVER MD (1.877.548.3763).


Dr. Robert Brown - What degree of liver failure necessitates a liver transplant?

Dr. Tomoaki Kato - When is a liver transplant needed?

Dr. Tomoaki Kato - What happens during a liver transplant operation?

Dr. Robert Brown - What happens during a liver transplant operation?

Dr. Tomoaki Kato - How does a liver transplant treat liver cancer?

Dr. Tomoaki Kato - What is intestinal and multivisceral transplantation?

Dr. Tomoaki Kato - What happens during an intestinal and multivisceral transplant operation?

Dr. Tomoaki Kato - Who requires an intestinal and multivisceral transplantation?

Dr. Tomoaki Kato - Who is a good candidate for intestinal and multivisceral transplantation?

Deceased-Donor Liver Transplantation

When an individual is declared brain dead and his or her family chooses to donate the organs for transplantation, the liver is made available for transplantation. Those who are to receive a deceased-donor organ are registered with the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS), the agency that maintains the national database of all individuals waiting for a deceased-donor organ. Waiting times vary depending on the individual's severity of illness, blood type, and overall demand. Click here to read more about the waiting list.

Click here to review outcomes of liver transplantation at the center.

Dr. Tomoaki Kato - How do living donor and deceased donor liver transplants compare?

Dr. Robert Brown - How do living donor and deceased donor liver transplants compare?

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