Many people live for years unaware that their liver is damaged and will not require transplantation. For those with severe or advanced liver diseases, liver transplantation may be an option in the following circumstances:
The liver transplant physician (hepatologist) will assess the severity of your disease and can start the process for you to be considered for a liver transplant. They will work with a transplant coordinator to manage, treat and coordinate your care.
While undergoing assessment for a transplant, you will need to undergo a number of tests. The process usually takes two to six weeks to complete, but varies depending on the availability of test procedures and complexity of individual cases.
All patients need to undergo baseline tests, and extra tests are tailored to the individual situation. For many people, these tests are performed on an outpatient basis (which means there is no need to stay overnight in hospital).
The test results provide an overall assessment of your current state of health, and will help determine whether a transplant is a suitable option for you.
Once your test results are available, your hepatologist will meet with the Australian National Liver Transplantation Unit (ANTLU) to discuss your suitability for a liver transplant.
They could recommend one of the following:
Your hepatologist will discuss the recommendation with you and your family, so you can make a decision. Even if you are suitable for a transplant now or later, you retain the right to decide that you would prefer NOT to undergo transplantation. The team will respect your decision.
Liver transplantation is a major operation. The 1-year post-transplant survival is about 90%, and the 10-year survival is 70%. While the chance of dying within the first year approaches 10%, we have seen a year on year reduction in death after transplant in the 30 plus years we have been performing them.
For NESB Patients who do not speak English who present for assessment can use our Sydney Local Health District Health Interpreter Service, to ensure effective health care communication. There is no cost to patients for this service.
Like anyone in NSW, a person with a disability may require a transplant assessment. We endeavor to accommodate all referrals on a case-by-case basis and make reasonable adjustments as required. The decision to proceed will be based on the individual's needs and goals.