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Date: 24 September 2023

Time: 08:54

Liver transplant assessment questions and answers

What does transplant assessment mean?

It is a medical, psychological and social assessment of your health, your liver disease and your needs in order to determine if liver transplant is the best form of treatment for you.

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How long will I be in hospital for the assessment?

Most patients are in hospital for five days – Monday to Friday – though it could be longer.

If further investigations are required, you may need to stay in hospital until these are completed. In these circumstances, patients will often go home for the weekend and return the following week.

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What happens if I don't get on the waiting list? 

This will depend on why you did not get placed on the waiting list. For some patients it is too soon to consider the transplant option; for others there may be concerns as to their ability to survive a liver transplant.

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What if my family can't get to the hospital for the assessment?

Part of the assessment involves your family (or carer) coming to Birmingham to meet the transplant co-ordinators so that a plan for your care after hospital can be agreed. You will not be added to the waiting list until this has happened.

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What tests will I have?

All patients have:

  • a chest X-ray
  • an electrocardiogram (ECG)
  • echocardiogram
  • abdominal ultrasound scan
  • spirometry
  • arterial blood gases
  • blood tests

Other tests may be needed, depending on your own particular circumstances.

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What if I don't feel ready to have a transplant?

You will not be forced into making a decision. Many patients go home to think about things, or discuss it with their family, before deciding weather to have a transplant or not.

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What happens if I go on the waiting list?

You will be added to list either as a "priority" or an "urgent" patient.  

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