Liver Transplant

Have you been diagnosed with liver cancer or liver disease?

Have you been told that you will likely need a liver transplant?

Are you scared and uncertain of what your future holds?

For adult and pediatric patients suffering from complex liver disease or liver cancer, our liver transplant team is here to help.

Nebraska Medicine is home to one of the most reputable and well-known liver organ transplant programs in the country. Since its inception in 1985, Nebraska Medicine's Liver Failure and Transplant Program has earned international recognition, a worldwide referral base and Medicare designation. Through our dedicated efforts in education, research and clinical medicine, we have helped shape the field of liver transplants. The world-class reputation of our programs and physicians attracts patients from across the country and around the world.

From the time you enter our doors, to long after you return home from surgery, our dedicated transplant team will be here to support you on your journey to better health.

 

Refer a Patient

Patient Guides

Why Choose Nebraska Medicine for Your Liver Transplant?

  • We offer transplants to people with a 35 meld score, meaning you don't have to already be as sick as in other states to receive a transplant.
  • You will be coming to a transplant center known throughout the United States as a leader in treating blood cancers.
  • For more than 25 years, the program has provided transplants for children and adult patients needing liver transplants. Transplant options include a donation from a deceased donor and live-donation from part of a living donor's liver.
  • We have become widely recognized as one of the premier liver transplantation centers in the country and offer expertise in living-related, reduced-size and auxiliary liver transplants.
  • We are experienced in using expanded donor criteria. This means we have additional options and resources to help someone receive a transplant who otherwise might die waiting for one.
  • We use the latest techniques when performing cancer surgeries for those patients with liver, pancreas and bile duct cancers.

 

Our Patient Care

Our experienced transplant team is here to provide you with care and support throughout the transplant process, during your hospital stay and even after you return home.

From the time of your referral, you will be matched with a designated transplant team member who is available to talk with you about your disease, various treatment options and which options are best suited to treat your disease.

The Liver Transplant Program has a dedicated anesthesiology team. This team is well versed in common and uncommon conditions associated with liver and biliary disease.  As a major transplant center, our team strives to provide the best perioperative care for patients undergoing  complicated surgical procedures and transplants, and anesthesia plays a key part in achieving this goal.  The transplant anesthesia team will accompany you throughout the operative course, seeking to optimize your care, minimize surgical stress and achieve the best possible results.

Our multidisciplinary transplant team includes:

  • child life specialists
  • dietitians
  • financial counselors
  • gastroenterologists (doctors who specialize in diseases of the digestive system)
  • nurses with various specialties relevant to your situation
  • hepatologists
  • pastoral services
  • patient relations coordinators
  • pharmacologists
  • psychologists 
  • psychiatrists
  • social workers
  • technicians
  • anesthesiologists
  • transplant surgeons

Managing Your Liver Disease

There are a number of diseases that may lead to liver failure and require the need for transplantation as treatment. These diseases affect patients in different ways and progress differently from patient to patient. Having one of these diseases does not necessarily mean you will need a liver transplant.

  • Cholestatic Diseases - Cholestatic diseases primarily affect the bile ducts and biliary tree within or outside the liver. Examples include primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC), primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC), secondary biliary cirrhosis and biliary atresia.
  • Chronic Hepatitis - Chronic hepatitis affects the liver cells and may be caused by exposure to certain viruses or drugs. These drugs include hepatitis B virus (HBV), hepatitis C virus (HCV), chronic drug or toxin exposure, autoimmune chronic active hepatitis, cryptogenic cirrhosis and alcoholic hepatitis. Patients with hepatitis caused by drugs or alcohol are considered for transplant if they meet certain criteria for abstinence and rehabilitation.
  • Metabolic Diseases - Metabolic diseases are hereditary diseases and include hemochromotosis, Wilson's disease, Alpha-1-antitrypsin deficiency, glycogen storage disease, tyrosenemia, familial amyloidotic polyneuropathy, cystic fibrosis or other metabolic disorders.
  • Liver Tumors - Tumors are abnormal growths of tissue that may or may not be cancerous. Patients with primary cancers of the liver that have not spread outside the liver may be considered for liver transplantation.
  • Nonalchoholic Steatohepatitis (NASH) - Liver inflammation which causes a build of fat in the liver. Also grouped with fatty liver disease.
  • Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis - A liver disease of the bile ducts caused by inflammation that can lead to cirrhosis of the liver.

Considering a Liver Transplant

If you are considering a liver transplant at Nebraska Medicine, the first step is a transplant evaluation to determine if you are a good candidate for the procedure. The evaluation members of the transplant team will do a thorough assessment, looking at signs and symptoms of your liver disease or liver cancer. They will then develop a treatment plan and answer any specific questions related to your disease and/or transplantation.

Nebraska Medicine is experienced in a number of liver transplant procedures, including:

  • Deceased-Donor Liver Transplantation
  • Living-Donor Liver Transplantation
  • Donation after Circulatory Death (DCD) Transplantation
  • Expanded Donor Criteria
  • Split-Liver Transplantation
  • Auxiliary-Liver Transplantation

Accreditations and Awards

 

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Nebraska Blue Distinction Center+

Blue Distinction Centers and Blue Distinction Centers+ have a proven history of delivering exceptional care and results. Nebraska Medicine has been designated a Blue Distinction Center for adult liver living donor and adult liver deceased donor programs.

Statistics & Outcomes

The Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients (SRTR) is an ever-expanding national database of transplantation statistics. Founded in 1987, the registry exists to support the ongoing evaluation of the scientific and clinical status of solid organ transplantation; including kidney, heart, liver, lung, intestine and pancreas.

Data in the registry is collected by the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN)from hospitals and organ procurement organizations (OPOs) across the country. The SRTR contains current and past information about the full continuum of transplant activity, from organ donation and waiting list candidates to transplant recipients and survival statistics. This information is used to help develop evidence-based policy, to support analysis of transplant programs and OPOs, and to encourage research on issues of importance to the transplant community.