Liver Transplant Program

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Diseases of the liver including cirrhosis, hepatitis and cancer may damage your organ to a point where a transplant becomes a lifesaving necessity. If you're facing this critical surgery, you'll want to choose a hospital that has a long history of liver transplantation success and one that continues to distinguish itself in this field.

At Jefferson, we performed the first liver transplant in the Delaware Valley in 1984, which makes our program the oldest and the longest continuously active liver transplant program in the Philadelphia area. Today, we are a recognized leader in the field of adult liver transplants. We provide liver transplants for pediatric patients, too, through our partnership with the transplant program at Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington, Delaware.

Why Choose Jefferson for Your Liver Transplant?

Among the Best in Liver Care

  • Surgeons who have collectively performed close to 2,000 live, deceased and domino donor liver transplants
  • Surgical teams who perform liver and kidney dual organ transplants for patients who have multiple organ failure
  • Patient transplant and graft survival rates surpass national and regional benchmarks established by both the Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients and the Organ Procurement Transplant Network
  • Patients with the greatest need experience the shortest wait time to receive their liver transplant of any medical center in the Philadelphia area (source: Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients, June 2014 report)
  • One of only three adult to adult live donor liver transplant centers in the region
  • One of the lowest regional organ waitlist mortality rates among patients of centers served by the Gift of Life Donor Program in the eastern half of Pennsylvania, Southern New Jersey and Delaware (source: Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients, June 2014 report)
  • An Independence Blue Cross Blue Distinction Center for Transplants® and an Aetna Institute of Excellence® Transplant Facility for adult liver transplants

Our Team Approach to Your Individualized Care

One of Jefferson's hallmarks is our team approach to patient-centered care. Your personally assigned transplant coordinator helps you through every step of the process — from your initial evaluation and tests, to placement on the organ waitlist, to preparing for your liver transplant surgery and ongoing follow-up — to provide you with peace of mind.

At Jefferson, you can often see all your specialists in one day so you won't need to schedule multiple visits to meet with all your liver care providers. Our team of highly experienced physicians, nurses and counselors works together to outline a strategy tailored for your unique physical, psychological and financial situation. We also collaborate with other medical specialists within Jefferson to make sure we address all your healthcare needs.

Our continuity of care includes putting you in touch with a support network of specially trained nurses, social workers and fellow transplant survivors. We also consult with your referring physician throughout the entire course of your liver disease treatment. Our goal is to create a sustainable plan for your continued health.

Learn More About Our Team Approach to Liver Transplant >

Advanced Medical Programs and Procedures

Our liver transplant surgeons have performed leading-edge operations that are not available at all Delaware Valley hospitals. These capabilities may provide lifesaving options for some patients who are told their condition is nonoperable by other physicians and hospitals. The medical team in our Liver Transplant Program also works in tandem with Jefferson's other subspecialty program specialists who are dedicated to helping patients make informed decisions about their liver disease treatments.

Between our subspecialty surgical expertise and our integrated approach to therapies targeting liver diseases and conditions, we offer you the broadest possible range of solutions to improve your quality of life.

Our Liver Care Programs

  • Hepatitis C Center – One of the few centers in the Delaware Valley dedicated to helping patients who have hepatitis C and/or nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), both of which can damage your liver
  • Substance Abuse – Counseling for people who need a liver transplant and who have a history of use and/or dependency on substances including alcohol and marijuana
  • MELD Testing – A scoring system used by doctors to prioritize patients according to medical need
  • Liver Tumor Board – Our multidisciplinary approach to liver tumors. We offer patients tumor therapies in a coordinated fashion, allowing them to obtain consultation and an individualized treatment plan in one day. Cancerous tumor patients also benefit from counseling offered at the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Thomas Jefferson University.

Specialized Liver Procedures

  • Orthotopic Liver Transplant – Removal of part of or the entire diseased liver from the patient's body and transplantation of a new healthy liver
  • Liver auto-transplant – One of the few hospitals in the world to have successfully performed this procedure for patients who are not candidates for liver transplantation or standard liver resection. The liver is removed, the cancerous part cut out and the organ reimplanted in the patient
  • "Bloodless" liver resection – Safely removes up to 75 percent of the organ; enables patients to recover in half the time and with less pain than a traditional liver resection
  • Robotic-assisted liver resection – Through a small incision, surgeons can perform complex procedures with a high level of precision and control with this minimally invasive approach

Our specialists also pioneered innovative therapies to improve your quality of life before and after liver transplantation including a new artificial liver assist device and new antirejection protocols.

One Week Evaluation

At Jefferson, patients can be evaluated for transplant and listed in 7 days. The liver transplant evaluation process that occurs after referral by Hepatology can be completed in a timely fashion, leaving the second week of the process for insurance clearances and additional testing required by surgeons.

Though streamlined, our seven day evaluation maintains the standards of quality care and attention associated with Jefferson’s world class health facilities and professionals.

Convenient Locations in the Delaware Valley for Pre- and Postoperative Care

Jefferson's ongoing "Patient for Life" commitment includes a personalized plan for monitoring your health along with your primary care or referring physician.

While your liver transplant will be performed at our Center City Philadelphia location, our patients who find it more convenient can elect to receive their preoperative care including evaluation and postoperative care at Main Line Health's Lankenau Medical Center in Montgomery County.

Jefferson Transplant Institute's other satellite facilities include Newark, Delaware and two locations in South Jersey. In 2015, our Transplant Institute expands to Bucks County. Also in 2015, we're implementing telemedicine (telecommunications technology) for remote evaluations and postoperative patient care.

Schedule an Appointment with Our Liver Transplant Team

Call 1-800-JEFF-NOW (1-800-533-3669) for a personal consultation.

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