Liver Transplant

Liver transplantation involves the replacement of the whole of a patient’s liver with that from a donor. Most donations occur from people who have an acute terminal illness and who had expressed an intention to donate their organs after death, a process called cadaveric donation. A healthy person may also donate a part of their liver to a relative in a process called Live Related Liver Donation (LRLD).

A majority of liver transplantation in the UK is carried out within the NHS from cadaveric donors. Patients from overseas, who are ineligible for NHS care, will usually require a living related donor to be able to undergo liver transplantation in the UK.

Patients will normally spend 2-4 weeks in hospital to recover after transplant surgery, and a full recovery can take up to six months. They will have to take a number of new medications to help look after their new liver. In particular, they will need to be on life-long immunosuppression medication to prevent rejection.

A patient’s general health and physical condition needs to be sufficiently robust to successfully undergo transplant surgery, so it is important to consider the potential need for transplantation earlier rather than later in patients with advanced liver disease, whilst they are still relatively well.

Why might I need a liver transplant?

The most common reason for needing a liver transplant is when a patient’s own liver has extensive and irreversible damage and is starting to fail. This is called end-stage liver disease or decompensated cirrhosis. A liver specialist can use liver disease severity scoring systems to predict when a patient may need a transplant, though good clinical judgement and experience are also vital. Liver transplantation is also sometimes performed as an operation to treat some forms of primary liver cancer, called hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).

This operation is carried out with the intent of curing the cancer. Rarely, liver transplantation is used a life-saving procedure in patients with acute liver failure, a condition that can deteriorate rapidly over a number of days, and which if untreated can lead to multi-organ failure and death.

Liver specialists at the London Liver Group have extensive expertise in the management of liver transplant patients, and some also work in major UK liver transplant centres. Transplant surgery itself is not currently performed at the London Clinic, but we are able to assess and advise patients as to their need and suitability for liver transplantation, and similarly review any potential living related donors.

We are able to care for patients who have had liver transplantation elsewhere and who now require a specialist to look after their new liver and manage their long-term immunosuppression.

Medical Admissions

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Facilitating acute admissions into The London Clinic whilst maintaining the highest levels of safety and care, supported by a consultant on-call rota.

Concierge service

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We can support our patients with travel, hotel accommodation, London tours, plus theatre and restaurant reservations.

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Main numbers

General enquiries: 020 7935 4444 Appointments: 020 7616 7693 Self-Pay: 020 3219 3315

Other numbers

Concierge service: 020 3219 3323International office: 020 3 219 3266Invoice and payment enquiries: 020 7616 7708

Your call may be recorded for training and monitoring purposes.

Medical service numbers

Breast services appointments: 020 7616 7653 Diagnostics appointments: 020 7616 7653 Endoscopy appointments: 020 7616 7760 Eye centre appointments: 020 7616 7768 Haematology appointments: 020 7535 5503 Kidney services appointments: 020 7224 5234 Liver services appointments: 020 7616 7719 Physiotherapy appointments: 020 7616 7651 Radiology appointments: 020 7616 7653

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