When a liver has been found for you, the transplant center will call you right away so you can get to the hospital. Some things you need to know:

  • Do not eat or drink anything after you are called.
  • Sometimes the liver may not be good enough to transplant, so your operation will be canceled. This does not happen very often, however.
  • Once you are in the operating room and put to sleep, intravenous (IV) and other types of lines will be put in your body so you receive medicines and fluids. Doctors will also monitor your heart and blood pressure.
  • Surgeons will make a cut that goes along both sides of your ribs. There are four blood vessels that connect the liver to the rest of the body. When your liver is removed, these vessels are cut and clamped shut. The surgeon will connect the new liver to these vessels. The bile duct on the donor liver is then connected to your bile duct. The bile duct is a tube that carries bile from the liver to the gallbladder and then to the small intestine. The bile duct may drain into your body, or it may drain through a tube to the outside of your body.
  • In some cases, a small piece of the intestine is connected to the new donor bile duct. This connection is called a Roux-en-Y.
  • It will take about 2 hours to prepare you for the operation. The operation itself will take 6 to 8 hours.


Fill out my online form.