A thorough evaluation is necessary to determine whether you are eligible for a liver transplant.
After you’ve selected a transplant center, you’ll be evaluated to determine whether you meet the center’s eligibility requirements for a liver transplant. Each transplant center has its own eligibility criteria. If you aren’t accepted at one transplant center, you may undergo evaluation at another center.
The goals of the evaluation process are to determine whether you:
- Are healthy enough to have surgery and tolerate lifelong post-transplant medications
- Have any medical conditions that would interfere with transplant success
- Are willing and able to take medications as directed and follow the suggestions of the transplant team
Pre-liver transplant tests To prepare for certain tests, we may ask you to not eat or take some medicines before coming to the hospital. Any of those additional requirements for your pre-liver transplant evaluation will be on your schedule in the binder mailed to you.Your care team will give you instructions before each test and consultation.Liver transplant tests include:
These tests will provide comprehensive data for the transplant team to assess the function of your liver and other body systems to determine if you are a candidate for transplant.
Whenever possible, the transplant team will look for other ways to treat your liver disease and void performing a liver transplant too early.
Specific tests, procedures and consultations you may undergo include:
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of abdomen/pelvis OR
- Computed tomography (CT) scan of abdomen/pelvis
- Dobutamine stress echocardiogram (DSE)
- Ultrasound of abdomen/pelvis
- Electrocardiogram/chest X-ray
- Mammogram or Pap smear for women
- Other testing and blood work
- A general health exam, including routine cancer screening tests, to evaluate your overall health
- Nutrition counseling with dietitians who assess your nutritional status and make recommendations regarding nutritional intake before and after transplant
- Psychological evaluation to assess and treat any underlying issues, such as depression or anxiety, and determine whether you fully understand the risks of a liver transplant
- Meetings with social workers who assess your support network to determine whether you have friends or family to help care for you after transplant
- Addiction counseling to help people with alcohol, drug or tobacco addictions to quit
- Financial counseling to help you understand the cost of a transplant and post-transplant care and to determine what costs are covered by insuranceOnce these tests and consultations are completed, the transplant center’s selection committee meets to discuss your situation. It determines whether a liver transplant is the best treatment for you and whether you’re healthy enough to undergo a transplant.
If the answer to both questions is yes, then you’re placed on the liver transplant waiting list.