Liver Transplant Evaluation
Once the medical team and patient have
chosen the path of transplantation for treatment, the patient will
receive a thorough evaluation from the liver transplant team, which
includes transplant hepatologists, transplant surgeons, transplant
nurses, financial counselors, social workers, and dietitians.
The overall evaluation takes approximately three days and includes:
- Diagnostic & Blood Testing - Necessary tests will include blood tests, x-rays, ultrasounds, CT scans, MRI, and cardiac and pulmonary testing.
- Appointments to See Other Specialists - Referrals to other
physicians such as cardiologists, gynecologists, and urologists may be
necessary. The purpose of these referrals is to determine if it is safe
to proceed with liver transplantation.
- Psychosocial Evaluation - The psychosocial evaluation helps
prepare the patient and loved ones for liver transplantation. Financial
counselors are also available to help make necessary arrangements prior
- Patient Education - The Transplant Center's commitment to
patient education begins at the first visit. Understanding the
transplant process is a crucial part of successful liver
Once the evaluation is complete and the
results of the tests are received, the multidisciplinary transplant team
will confirm that liver transplantation is the correct option for the
patient. After being confirmed as a transplant candidate, the patient
will be placed on the national waiting list for deceased-donor liver
MELD Score and the Liver Transplant Waiting List
Livers from deceased donors are a scarce
resource. In order to distribute this scarce resource most fairly, liver
patients are ranked on the waiting list according to the severity of
The Model for End-Stage Liver Disease (MELD) score is based on three specific laboratory tests: bilirubin, INR, and serum
creatinine. The MELD score ranges from 4 to 40 and is used to rank
patients on the waiting list.
Patients with higher MELD scores get
first priority when a liver becomes available. In some cases, patients
with certain diseases such as liver cancer may receive additional MELD
points based on their disease.
Patients awaiting liver transplantation
on our transplant list are seen by Transplant Center physicians on a
regular basis to ensure that they will be ready for transplantation when
the liver becomes available.
Becoming an Organ Donor
The generosity of deceased donors is the
foundation of organ transplantation and provides hope for the more than
100,000 people waiting for an organ transplant nationwide. Please visit donatelifetexas.org for more information on organ donation.