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Liver transplant

A liver transplant is an operation to remove your liver and replace it with a healthy one from a donor.

It may be recommended if your liver has stopped working properly (liver failure) and other treatments cannot help.

Having a liver transplant involves 3 main stages:

  1. Having an assessment – to find out if you're suitable for a liver transplant, you'll have several tests and will be asked about your health and lifestyle.
  2. Going on the waiting list – if you're suitable for a transplant, you'll need to wait for a healthy donor liver to become available, which could take several months or more.
  3. Having the operation – when a liver is available, you'll go into hospital for surgery to remove your damaged liver and replace it with the healthy donor one.

This can be a long and difficult process, both physically and emotionally.

Liver transplants are generally very successful and most people are eventually able to return to their normal activities afterwards.

It can take a year or more to fully recover.

After a liver transplant, you'll need to:

Most people live more than 10 years after a liver transplant and many live for up to 20 years or more.

Read more about life after a liver transplant

A liver transplant is a big operation that has a risk of some serious complications. These can happen during, soon after, or even years afterwards.

Some of the main complications and risks of a liver transplant are:

A liver transplant will only be recommended if the risks of not having a transplant outweigh the risks of having one.

If you wish to donate your liver, there are 2 ways you can do this: